Monthly Archives: April 2017

Hampshire Garden Festival 2017

Press Release:

Date:  11th June 2017
Location: Bere Mill, Whitchurch

Website:  In support of the North Hampshire Medical Fund


The Hampshire Garden Festival, formerly known as the Test Valley Garden and Literary Festival encompasses all that is great about Hampshire. From Plants to Food, Practical Demonstrations to Talks, this year’s Festival will provide great entertainment and a fantastic day out for all ages. 

Bigger and better than ever before, the Festival will be held on Sunday, 11th June 2017 at the most beautiful of locations – Bere Mill on the banks of the iconic River Test at Whitchurch.

Plants and so much more

The Hampshire Garden Festival 2017 will include a wide range of interesting and quite wonderful offerings so whatever your interests, you are guaranteed a truly great day out for the whole family. There really is something for everyone. For keen gardeners there are wonderful plants to buy from an array of plant stalls manned by passionate plants people. The vastly experienced Helen Yemm will host a Gardeners’ Question Time where all your horticultural questions will be answered and lively debate will abound. There are talks and lectures on all forms of horticulture and gardening as well as wonderful displays of garden accessories, equipment and art which you can buy and take home to your own garden.

Gardeners’ Question Time

One of the highlights of the Hampshire Garden Festival will be a ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’.  Chaired by well known Daily Telegraph Gardening Correspondent Helen Yemm (Thorny Problems). Helen is a writer, lecturer and author of ‘Gardening in your Nightie’ – she is Sussex based and passionate about small gardens, having created a pint sized beautiful garden in East Sussex.    

Also on the panel are high profile and popular garden personalities that include Pippa Greenwood, the Hampshire based author, TV and radio personality, regular contributor to BBC2’s Gardeners’ World and BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time.  Pippa is passionate about growing your own vegetables and herbs.

In addition we have Rosy Hardy of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants.  Winner of 21 RHS Chelsea Gold Medals, Rosy designed the Brewin Dolphin show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2016. She focused the design on the River Test and called the garden ‘Forever Freefolk’. Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants will be exhibiting at the Festival.

 Demonstrations and workshops

At the Hampshire Garden Festival our aim is to inform and inspire you.  We have a range of free practical workshops and demonstrations that range from Willow Weaving to Hurdle Making, Butterfly Conservation to Tree Surgery.  And for budding foragers, we even have a Fungus Identification class!


Enjoy our wide range of food stalls taking in the widest selection of local Hampshire delights and tasteful wonders


11.30 Elizabeth Proudman – Jane Austen and the Landscape Garden

Elizabeth Proudman was Chairman of the Jane Austen Society and for many years has been a member of the Hampshire Gardens Trust and the Garden History Society.  She lectures widely on Jane Austen and gardens, and it is interesting how the two subjects can intertwine.

2.00 Johnny Messum – Placing Art and Sculpture in the Landscape

Johnny Messum is the founder/pioneer behind Messum’s Wiltshire, an inspirational and innovative Art Centre in Tisbury offering a unique environment for both artists and collectors that celebrates the creative endeavour. 

3.00 Gardener’s Question Time  – Details above.

Entertainment for the whole family

The Festival has always been a great family day out and kids love the array of fun activities. Come and enjoy the music and spirit of Hampshire at its very best. It will be a wonderland of fun for the kids who can enjoy activities by Zoolab, Sandykidz Art, Juggling Jake’s Circus Skills and Storytelling.  Music by Hampshire’s own band Head North.

Gala Evening

A Gala Evening will be held at Bere Mill on Saturday, 10th June – Guest Speaker will be celebrated actor and broadcaster Nigel Havers who will be interviewed by writer and former BBC and ITV Presenter and Journalist Philip Geddes.  This will be followed by a reception at which we will serve Coates & Seely award wining Britagne from the Test Valley and canapés by Becka.   Details and tickets are available by email at or by calling 01256 314759.

From Alan Titchmarsh

The Hampshire Garden Festival encompasses all that is good about Hampshire. It is a county rich in culture, history, art and literature. A landscape of beautiful countryside and, of course, gardens. Plants and flowers provide that vital connection with nature and our gardens are a refuge for wildlife and an escape from the hectic world we live in. But gardens are about those who create and tend them and I have always found that gardeners are people with real heart. They are people who care. Caring about nature and caring about each other is what really counts and that is why the Hampshire Garden Festival is such a wonderful event. A Festival organised to support a very worthy cause that really does make a difference, the North Hampshire Medical Fund.   

 From the North Hampshire Medical Fund

The North Hampshire Medical Fund is very grateful to the Hampshire Garden Festival for their fantastic support. On behalf of the patients, staff and all of the board of Trustees say a very big thank you for amazing work supporting the charity. All the money raised goes towards the much needed hospital equipment which benefits the patients of Hampshire. Visit:

About Bere Mill

The Hampshire Garden Festival will be held at the beautiful Bere Mill on the banks of the iconic River Test at Whitchurch. This 18th century water mill is surrounded by contemporary gardens, water meadows and a farm which, worked on traditional lines, produces rare breed beef and lamb. A renowned stretch of the Upper Test, famous for its trout fly fishing, runs through the garden. The Saxon mill was the original paper mill for Portals, the company which first supplied paper bank notes to the Bank of England in 1718.  Since 1993 it has been the family home of Rupert and Elizabeth Nabarro. The garden is open for the National Garden Scheme and for visits by gardening parties and groups.

 Ticket prices

£9 per adult ticket
£4 for children between 5 and 16
£20 family ticket (2 adults and 2 children)
Children under 5 FREE
A donation from ticket prices will be made to the National Garden Scheme

Media Contact:

Telephone: Terry Winters – 07798 666222



The Hampshire Garden Festival website can be reached at