‘Grow Your Own’ festival to welcome baking star

Frances Quinn. Picture by Dave Smith
Frances Quinn. Picture by Dave Smith

Parham House & Gardens, between Pulborough and Storrington, is delighted to announce details for its 3rd Annual Grow Your Own Festival.

Taking place in the summer holidays on Sunday August 17 between 10.30am and 5pm, the event is a celebration of locally produced goods and will encourage visitors to get started with growing their own fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers. It will also be a great day out for all the family.

Frances Quinn, the 2013 winner of the fourth series of TV’s ‘Great British Bake Off’ programme, is attending the event from 10.30am-1pm and visitors will be able to watch as she demonstrates how to use garden produce in baked delights and decoration.

Having had a strong interest in baking since the age of five, Quinn was encouraged to enter the competition by her colleagues whilst working as a designer for a clothing company.

She was selected from 13,000 applicants to appear on the popular baking programme and eventually competed against twelve other competitors to reach the final.

The televised final broke previous records with a staggering 9.1 million viewers tuning in to watch her win with her ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream- inspired’ three-tiered wedding cake. Since then, Quinn has been busy working on her first cookery book, which is due to be published next year.

Pippa Greenwood (www.pippagreenwood.com), the celebrity gardener, plant ‘pathologist’ and regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, will also be present and giving talks and hints and tips on growing your own produce throughout the year.

There will also be a Flower Festival in Parham House so that visitors can view the stunning arrangements made by the highly experienced Parham flower arranging team using freshly cut flowers from the 4-acre Walled Garden.

Lady Emma Barnard’s great grandmother, Alicia Pearson, started the tradition of fresh flower arrangements in every room in the house and this tradition is still maintained with the flower arranging being done ‘the Parham way’.

Sometimes as many as thirty buckets of flowers and greenery are brought in from the gardens each week for these stunning arrangements. In this case there will be 70 buckets!

In the Pleasure Grounds there will be the opportunity to meet local allotmenteers and food and drink producers who will all be expounding the virtues of growing and enjoying your own.

New for families this year will be traditional fairground games.

Cakes, brownies and other home-made Parham delights using produce from the Walled Garden will be available for sale in the ‘Mower Shed’. Light lunches and teas will also be available in the house’s Big Kitchen.

An inspirational and fun day out for the all the family and only £28.00 for 2 adults and up to four children with a family ticket. Entry to the house and gardens is included in the entry price.

Visit www.parhaminsussex.co.uk)

Report contributed by Zanny Gilchrist, ZGPR.