Are you a gardener? A foodie? A parent? Why not bring your family to Lowther Castle on October 22nd and take part in a mass bulb-plant?
Lowther Castle has a history of mass bulb-plantings – indeed, in 2012, a world record was made there when over 600 volunteers planted 106,652 daffodil bulbs in just under three hours.
This half-term, the bulb-plant will involve 28,000 Camassia bulbs to be planted in the long grasses on either side of the south lawns. Volunteers will be assisted by horticultural students from Newton Rigg college. Camassia are native to North America and produce tall spikes of starry blue or white flowers in the spring. In the US, the indigenous Indians traditionally roasted and ate the bulbs, which they called quamash. (Apparently roasted Camassia taste like sweet potatoes.) The bulbs are being supplied by top wholesale nursery, Gee Tee Bulb Company of Spalding in Lincolnshire.
Alongside the bulb-planting, Lowther is hosting a seasonal food and plant fair. Judy Popley, renowned for her fairs throughout the north (Flower Power Fairs), has assembled a crack team of nurseries who will bring bulbs and other plants to sell in the courtyard. Among her sellers, are two BBC Gardeners’ World regulars, John Cullen Gardens and Hare Spring Cottage Plants. Hare Spring currently holds the National Collection of Camassia. Pretty Ugly Plants from Scotland will be bringing their collection of carnivorous plants – to delight and fascinate you all.
Food stalls will include chutneys, cheeses and pies; and for the hungry planter, Mansergh Hall Farm hog roast will be selling delicious hot piggy buns. In the gardens, an array of chutney sports including Pumpkin Hoopla and a Winter’s Trail – a gingerbread quest for mini-adventurers – will also be on offer (free with admission; sports and trail available throughout the half-term week).
So if you would like to get your half term off to a crackling start, come along to Plant Up at Lowther Castle on October 22nd. Bring your children, your gardening gloves, your shopping baskets and an empty stomach. All ages are welcome. No experience necessary. Equipment provided.
Volunteer planters will be given free entry to Lowther Castle & Gardens.
Please note: places should be reserved in advance.