UK’s first vegan garden festival to be held at Hampshire nursery

A multi award-winning garden designer, leading horticultural journalist and top plantsmen will be taking part in the UK’s first Vegan Garden Festival at Hook’s Hortus Loci nursery next month.

With practical tips on growing and cooking vegan food, the free-to-attend event is aimed at people interested in switching to a plant-only diet, as well as those who need advice on how to whip up a quick and tasty meal for vegan guests. It will take place on Saturday 15 September 9am-5.30pm at Hortus Loci, Hound Green, Hook, RG27 8LQ.

One of Britain’s most popular creators of landscaped gardens, Cleve West will be giving a talk about healing gardens and his vegan journey. Cleve gave up his Olympic dream as a long-jumper in 1990 in order to study garden design, and before long he had won two successive Gold Medals at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. He’s now one of gardening’s leading stars and has scooped many awards, including eight Chelsea Gold Medals, as well as Best in Show and People’s Choice awards.

Leading horticultural journalist Matthew Appleby will present his new book The Super Organic Gardener, out in October; urban garden design expert Darryl Moore will give a talk on the Praise of Plants, and Hortus Loci/The HOBO.CO’s resident chef Sebastian Bonfield will demonstrate how to cook a three-course vegan meal. Hortus Loci’s CEO Mark Straver, and nurseryman to the stars, will also take part, and on hand to answer questions will be Reading Vegan Outreach and meat-alternative producers Love Seitan.

Mark Straver said: “Veganism is becoming increasingly popular but many people don’t know where to start. Our event is designed to help give people tips on where to begin, how to grow the plants and food you need for a balanced diet, as well as advice to non-vegans on how to cook for a vegan guest.”

Hortus Loci grows hundreds of thousands of plants each year at its 17-acre Hound Green site, which also boasts a retail Plant Centre, with many of them being used for gardens by star designers at the leading shows including RHS Chelsea. The 30-strong Hortus team spend the year preparing, carefully nurturing shrubs, trees, perennials, herbs and vegetables as well as travelling the world to secure the best specimens.

Tickets are available on the Hortus Loci website.