ONE of the country’s leading garden designers has praised a festival that is set to attract thousands of people to a Northwich stately home this month.

Television presenter Chris Beardshaw said Arley Garden Festival, on June 21 and 22, was one of the most unique in the country thanks to the estate’s stunning gardens.

“Arley’s festival has the edge over others because its own gardens are one of the attractions,” said Chris, a Chelsea gold medal-winning garden designer.

“It has become a celebration of plantsmanship and I don’t know another show like it.

“You can walk the gardens for inspiration and then buy plants from the nursery so that you can create a piece of Arley in your own garden.”

Arley Hall, off Budworth Road, is celebrating its 20th garden festival this year.

It will include spectacular floral displays, a food fair, a craft marquee, a plant surgery, live music and a classic car display.

Mid Cheshire schools – including St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary, The Grange Junior School and Witton Church Walk – are also creating show gardens that always prove one of the highlights of the event.

Chris will be judging the popular schools’ flowerbed challenge, taking part in a gardeners’ question time and meeting plant nurserymen.

Chris has 30 national and international horticultural awards to his name and among his current commissions are a 200-metre long herbaceous border at Greenwich Park (Royal Parks) – the longest in London – and an edible wildflower meadow at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons.

He predicted that the weather so far this year would lead to a bumper festival.

“It is a vintage year for the garden and therefore it will be a vintage year for the show,” he said.

To book tickets for the show call 01565 777353 or visit for more information.