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Spring Festival at Petworth

The rotunda with yellow daffodils in the foreground in Petworth's pleasure garden.
The rotunda and daffodils in the park at Petworth House | © National Trust Images/John Miller

Experience the arrival of spring at Petworth with a sensational new festival featuring talks, demonstrations, art and craft workshops, family activities and an enhanced display of radiant daffodils. The Spring Festival will run from 23 March to 14 April. Normal admission applies.

Makers Market

A two-day Makers Market will kick things off, held in partnership with Petworth Pop-Up, where visitors can find high quality artisan gifts and a range of beautiful handmade products including jewellery, homeware, textiles and art. 23 & 24 March, 10am - 5pm.

Talks and demonstrations

From 23 – 29 March gardening enthusiasts will be treated to a series of talks and demonstrations from specialist speakers in the garden theatre in the glade. Free talks, no booking required.

Saturday 23 March, 11.30am: Andrew Jasper, Director of Gardens and Parklands for National Trust will lead a panel discussion with Arit Anderson and Ann-Marie Powell.

Saturday 23 March, 1.30pm: Join garden designer and broadcaster Arit Anderson for a talk on how the horticulture industry is preparing to let go of peat. What does this mean for growers and the growing media businesses?

Sunday 24 March, 11.30am & 2.30pm: Find out how National Trust gardener and author of Grow Robyn Booth got involved in horticulture and turned a love of growing vegetables into a career. Get an insight into what it takes to nurture a historic kitchen garden and be inspired to have a go at growing your own produce.

Sunday 24 March, 12.30pm & 3.30pm: Art historian Dr Alexandra Loske will be sharing the fascinating story of spring greens and yellows.

Monday 25 March, 11.30am & 2.30pm: Dr Caroline Ikin, curator of Munstead Wood, will be sharing more about the home of celebrated gardener Gertrude Jekyll, which holds a deep significance as a place where her ideal of the 'artistic-gardener' achieved complete expression.

Tuesday 26 March, 12.30 & 3.30pm: Gardener, broadcaster and author Frances Tophill will be joining us for a talk that guides you through the principles of gardening sustainably whilst making the most of the productivity of your garden.

Tuesday 26 & Wednesday 27 March, 11.30 & Friday 29 March, 3.30: Petworth's Head Gardener Martyn Burkinshaw will be giving a talk on what makes spring at Petworth so special.

Wednesday 27 March, 12.30 & Thursday 28 March 3.30: Paul Gallivan, National Trust Gardens & Parks Consultant, will be giving an introduction to Woolbeding Gardens.

Thursday 28 March: Graham Alderton, National Trust Head Gardener, will discuss taming laurels and restoring views at Claremont at 11.30am, followed by restoration, succession and the great British weather at Winkworth at 2.30pm.

Friday 29 March, 11.30 & 2.30: Mat Cash, Partner and Group Leader at Heatherwick Studio, will discuss Reinventing Heritage.

Family activities

Throughout the festival you can explore the buggy-friendly paths of the Pleasure Garden on our free family trail, with activities along the way and six nature-inspired willow sculptures to discover. 23 March - 14 April. Pick up a free booklet and map from reception.

For the Easter holidays from 3 – 10 April families will be able to enjoy crafts in the Battery House. Drop in any time from 10.30am - 3.30pm. £3 per child.

Foraging walks

Guided foraging walks with Terra Vitum will offer a unique chance to connect with nature and explore the woodlands, meadows and hedgerows of the park and gardens, explaining the myths, folklore, history and edibility of common and unusual wild food. 23 March, 10.30am and 2pm. Booking essential.

Daffodils carpeting the park at Petworth House
Daffodils carpeting the park at Petworth House | © John Miller

Creative workshops

If you’re feeling creative, there will be fun and informative workshops including botanical drawing, wreath making, lino printing and willow weaving, where you will learn the techniques to craft your own natural sculptures. 26 - 29 March.

Daffodil display

If that's not enough, the garden will be carpeted in radiant daffodils thanks to the 4,000 new bulbs our gardeners have been busy planting to enhance our famous display. Pick up a free map from reception to discover the many varieties at Petworth.

Become a National Trust member

With so many events and activities taking place, spring is a great time for gardening enthusiasts to consider National Trust membership, which will enable you to attend all our talks and visit other National Trust gardens throughout the year. Please see our Membership page or call 0344 800 1895.