Weather fails to dampen spirits at plant fair

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There was mixed weather for Holkham’s annual two-day plant fair in the estate’s walled garden.

The sun brought in the visitors on the Saturday though numbers were slightly down on the Sunday.

It was still judged a major success by head gardener Dene Wood.

“It’s the first year all 42 pitches have been taken,” he said, adding that they might have to rethink the layout to accommodate more stalls next year.

“But we were lucky with the weather. It was better than was forecast. Originally we were facing a wash-out.”

The theme was the garden.

Being autumn there were masses of bulbs on display. Flowering shrubs, evergreen bushes, fruit bushes and unusual plants of all kinds had their place.

One of the highlights of each day was a demonstration where Mr Wood showed a tented audience how to grow the ingredients of a squash, pear and rosemary soup with Jerusalem artichokes.

The estate’s Victoria Inn head chef, Michael Chamberlain, then demonstrated how to make the soup and the accompanying artichoke crisps.