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Our 2018 Dahlia Festival

The Weekend

As holders of the National Collection of Dark-Leafed Dahlias, and steadfast fans of this diverse and vibrant group of plants, we've chosen to make Dahlias the centrepiece of our annual autumn garden festival.

Still in radiant bloom in the middle of September, our love of Dahlias stems from their generosity in the garden - tough, drought resistant, incredibly varied and in flower for months on end. Who could ask for more?

With interactive sessions from expert guests throughout the weekend, great food on hand from our kitchen team, visiting nurseries displaying their wares and our 4 acre garden laid out in all its late-summer glory, it's an unmissable event for anyone passionate about plants.

Throughout the weekend our Q&A table will be permanently manned to get all the advice you need on any plant or garden related topic.

Hosted by our own Head Gardener Steve Edney - the multi gold-medal winning, RHS-Committeeing, double-national-plant-collection-holding, radio-presenting, green-fingered gem - our approach is relaxed, inclusive and open to everyone, from the most fanatical floraphile to those who can find a way to kill anything.

All the sessions are free - simply buy your ticket to enter the garden (£8pp) or bring your annual pass.

Join us!

Saturday 15th Sept

11am - 12 Noon
From Bare Ground to National Collection
Philip Oostenbrink, Head Gardener to the many storied gardens of Canterbury Cathedral, as well as Kent chair of plant Heritage speaks on how to go about building a National Collection.

12 Noon - 1pm
Growing Great Dahlias
Our Head Gardener, Steve Edney, talks about growing dahlias successfully, using dahlias in the garden, the breeding programme at The Salutation, and gives tips on how to get the best from your plants.

1pm - 2pm
Gardeners Question Time
Head Gardener Steve Edney and Assistant Head Gardener Sam Scarlett aim to prove there is nothing horticultural they don't know and no gardening problem they don't have the answers to. Do your best to prove them wrong.

2pm - 3pm
Flower Arranging Part 1 - Traditional and Easy
Flower arranging Salutation Garden style, with the least effort for the greatest impact. The gardeners will show how to arrange a series of different displays with foliage and flowers that come direct from the garden.

3pm - 4pm
Garden Dahlias
What makes a good garden-worthy dahlia, and which varieties would best suit your particular garden and containers, from expansive plots to townhouse patios.

Sunday 16th Sept

11am - 12 Noon
Growing Great Dahlias
Our Head Gardener, Steve Edney, talks about growing dahlias successfully, using dahlias in the garden, the breeding programme at The Salutation, and gives tips on how to get the best from your plants.

12 Noon - 1pm
House & Air
Mercy Morris talks about house plant and air plant success and care.

1pm - 2pm
Growing & Showing
National exhibitor Darren Everest joins us to share his expertise on growing picture-perfect Dahlias and to demonstrate how to best arrange them for show or domestic display.

2pm - 3pm
Flower Arranging Part 2 - The Pros
Take your flower arranging to the next level with practical demonstrations from Sophie Leatheart and Louise Dowle

3pm - 4pm
Garden Dahlias
What makes a good garden-worthy dahlia, and which varieties would best suit your particular garden and containers, from expansive plots to townhouse patios.

There will never be great architects or great architecture without great patrons. Edwin Lutyens

Dorothy's vase and pot drawing