GARDENERS from across Cheshire pottered around Arley Hall at the weekend during a celebration of all things horticulture.

The 23rd Arley Garden Festival attracted those on the hunt for answers to gardening queries as well as a good bargain at one of the nurseries or horticultural stands.

“We really try to create a fun atmosphere with music and lots of great food,” said events manager Helen Begent.

“However, we never lose focus of what the festival is about and that is gardens so hopefully there is something for everyone to enjoy over the weekend.”

One of the most popular stops for visitors during the show was the countryside marquee where rural traditions and crafts were on show.

Among those displaying her talents was Natasha Twigg – known as Twiggy – who helps manage small woodlands around the north west.

She also puts fallen trees and branches to good use by turning them into crafts.

“It is great for people to see that traditional crafts are still in use and they seem to love it,” she said.

Cheshire Gardens Trust were also on hand to share their knowledge of the county’s gardens and their history.

Among their goals is to encourage local communities to appreciate and care for the parks and gardens in their area as well as to record the history of local parks and gardens.

Arley Bakes made a welcome return to this year’s festival with visitors tucking into great food and watching chefs’ demonstrations.

There was also Gardeners’ Question Time and a stunning floral marquee where nurseries were awarded for their creativity and quality of planting.

For the first time experts from the Royal Horticultural Society shared their knowledge with inquisitive amateur gardeners.

The popular school’s garden challenge was won by The Grange School who created a big bug hotel within their plot.

“Hopefully these are the gardeners of the future because the schoolchildren really do seem to love taking part and growing their own gardens every year,” added Helen.