Where: Hampstead Heath, London
When: June 20-22
Why: Gardening shows can sometimes feel a bit, well, fuddy-duddy – but this new event from the people behind the Affordable Art Fair promises to cater for an entirely different generation of urban farmers, windowsill growers, guerilla gardeners, foragers and allotment holders. Expect stylish gardening accessories and furniture, expert advice from the likes of Otter Farm’s Mark Diacono and designer James Alexander-Sinclair.
More info: growlondon.com
Green Fingers festival
Where: The Eden Project, Cornwall
When: June 2-29 (closed June 21)
Why: Eden’s first ever Green Fingers festival is a great place to top up your horticultural knowhow. Eden’s horticulture team are sharing their knowledge with free daily expert gardener talks throughout the month, covering everything from allotments and growing your own, to composting, wildlife gardening, flowers and ornamentals and exotic gardening.
Guests include Bob Flowerdew, Anne Swithinbank, Chris Collins and Dave Finkle.
More info: edenproject.com
Festival of Garden Literature
Where: Petworth House, West Sussex
When: June 21-22
Why: If you’d like to immerse yourself in a more cerebral appreciation of gardens, this is the event for you. According to the programme, this festival will “explore how gardens impact everyday life; what gardens can teach us about ourselves and their influence on art, history, poetry and literature”. Expect to hear from garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith, garden writer Anna Pavord, and nature writer Richard Mabey.
More info: gardenmuseum.org.uk
Plant Finders’ Fair
Where: Borde Hill Garden, West Sussex
When: June 27-29
Why: If you’re fed up of the poor plant offerings in your local DIY shed, but begrudge paying steep P&P costs for mail order plants, this is the perfect day out: a range of top-ranking specialist nurseries, all in one place (which also happens to be home to a beautiful garden), plus high quality tools and equipment from the likes of Garden and Wood, Green Man Woodcrafts and Sneeboer tools.
More info: plantfindersfair.co.uk
Port Eliot Festival’s Flower & Fodder stage
Where: Port Eliot, St German’s Cornwall
When: July 24-27
Why: While not devoted to gardening, there’s a good chunk of horticultural action to be had here. The Flower & Fodder stage promises to cover how to grow your own food, the English cut flower movement and the best ways of eating healthily. Look out for Benjamin Ranyard of Higgledy Garden who is planting a 40m x 3m bed of flowers for cutting, and Tony Howard (who trained at Great Dixter) is creating a vivid Hawaiian border in the walled garden.
More info: porteliotfestival.com
Dig the city
Where: Manchester City Centre
When: August 2-10
Why: This is billed as an urban gardening festival, but there really is something here for everyone, from show gardens to plant swaps. The WI will be showing that its on trend with a “city fete” and there’s plenty to keep children entertained, including a petting zoo and giant garden games.
More info: digthecity.co.uk
Where: West Dean Gardens, Near Chichester, West Sussex
When: August 8-10
Why: This is a cross between Womad and the dreamiest village gardening show you can imagine, with suitably hot music from flamenco, swing and mariachi bands as well as Cuban carnival music, a vintage steam fun fair and rock workshops for teenagers. But you’re only going for the chillies, right? Sarah Wain, West Dean’s gardens supervisor will be holding chilli “surgeries” (ouch), talks and demonstrations on growing chillies at home, plus plenty of chilli-heavy food on offer.
More info: westdean.org.uk
What have we missed? Which gardening events are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know and we’ll add some of them to the list.