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BBC Radio 4 Gardeners' Question Time Summer Garden Party

"I had a wonderful time diagnosing plant problems. It was my idea of heaven - a long queue of people armed with bags containing all manner of sickly plants."

...So Pippa Greenwood wrote happily in her blog in Gardeners' World Online last September about the BBC Radio 4 Gardener's Question Time (GQT) Summer Garden Party! Now that may not exactly be your idea of heaven but Ness Gardens certainly has a lot to offer the gardening and food lover at this year's repeat performance of the Summer Garden Party and we are aiming to beat the record attendance of 2,000 guests which was Radio 4's biggest outdoor audience event last year.

All the usual suspects will be here including Bob Flowerdew, Eric Robson, Matthew Biggs, Christine Walkden, Peter Gibbs, Matthew Wilson, Bunny Guinness and Pippa Greenwood plus new faces James Wong and Carol Baxter. As well as the two recordings for the popular programme, our own Ness expert gardeners and those from GQT will be on hand to provide demonstrations and give personal advice on your gardening dilemmas. Come and see cookery demonstrations from Claire Lara, Masterchef winner 2010, Anju Chandna, North Indian culinary specialist, Yasmin Limbert who was WI 'Cook of the Year' for 2011 and a quarter finalist in the BBC Great British Bake Off and Malcolm Williams, local artisan baker; all will be using produce grown by us at Ness this year.

As Kevin Reid, Director at Ness Gardens put it "We are planning more demonstrations, activities and stands than before and if early ticket sales are anything to go by, it promises to be a huge success once more". The fabulous specialist growers of the popular Plant Hunters' Fair are back so you can get going straight away with your newly acquired knowledge on what to grow in your garden. You can meet our chickens and bees, take tours of our splendid Gardens and enjoy Ness flavoured ice that's more like heaven isn't it?

Tickets are priced at £8.50 each (no concessions) and are available now via the Ness Botanic Gardens website ( so keep watching our website to find out the latest news for this year's event. Tickets are limited so book now to avoid disappointment.


Notes to editors

For more information or images please contact Jen Lemon on 0845 0304063 Ext 242 or email

About Gardeners´ Question Time: The very first Gardeners´ Question Time took a panel of expert gardeners along to answer questions from members of the Smallshaw Allotments Association, it was broadcast by the BBC on 9th April 1947. Strictly speaking it wasn't called Gardeners´ Question Time at the time but How Does your Garden Grow?, however, it wasn't long till the name was changed - at least not long in the context of its close on 60 years of history. Over the years it has answered well over 30,000 questions. The panel members have been guests of a diversity of gardening clubs and other groups, including Leyhill Open Prison, the Palace of Westminster and a nudist club in Wales.

About Ness Gardens: The Gardens were created in 1898 by Arthur Kilpin Bulley, a wealthy cotton broker from Liverpool. Passionate about plants, he funded various plant hunting expeditions to the Far East for hunters such as George Forrest whose huge Pieris formosa 'Forrestii' from China, can still be seen today. Bulley created a garden of the unusual and the rare and shared it freely with his village neighbours. He also established the renowned Bees Seeds company. The Gardens were donated to the University of Liverpool in 1948 by Bulley's daughter. They now attract over 60,000 visitors a year; there are in excess of 7,000 Friends of Ness Gardens who have provided financial support for over fifty years and more than 200 volunteers work across the Gardens.

Memebership of the Friends of Ness is open to anyone.  For more information email or visit Friends of Ness Gardens