whats on

Ness Gardens to host 70th anniversary party for BBC Radio 4 Gardeners' Question Time

September visit will include pick of gardening gurus

Gardener's Question Time's annual summer party is to return to Ness Gardens(Image: Ness Gardens)

BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time is to return to Ness Gardens.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the programme its annual summer garden party will visit the internationally respected gardens in September.

The popular show was first broadcast on April 9, 1947 when a panel of expert gardeners answered questions from members of an allotments association.

Over the years it has answered well over 30,000 questions with its mixture of light-hearted banter and good gardening sense.

In addition to the weekly broadcasts from a variety of venues from gardening clubs through to the Palace of Westminster the show also holds an annual summer garden party.

Bob Flowerdew will be on the panel when Gardener's Question Time's returns to Ness Gardens(Image: Ness Gardens)

The visit on September 16 will feature the location which has drawn the largest crowds in the event’s history with over 5,000 attending the summer garden parties held at Ness in 2012 and 2013.

As ever the party will feature the pick of the crop of gardening gurus including Bob Flowerdew, Bunny Guinness, Anne Swithinbank, James Wong, Matthew Biggs, Pippa Greenwood, Roy Lancaster and Gardeners’ Question Time chairmen Eric Robson and Peter Gibbs.

The summer garden party is described as a unique event including two recordings of the BBC’s flagship gardening radio programme.

Ness Gardens say: “This is your chance to meet the Gardeners’ Question Time team face-to-face, watch demonstrations and take part in a whole range of activities across the garden. It promises to be a fantastic day out.”

The full programme, including how to take part in the recordings, will be announced shortly.

Tickets for the anniversary summer garden party cost £10.50 and can be booked via the Ness Botanic Garden website or by contacting the gardens on 0151 795 6300 (daily 10-4pm).

The original Gardeners’ Question Time show from 1947 and the 70th Anniversary Special are both on BBC iplayer Radio and from BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time website.

Gardener's Question Time's annual summer party is to return to Ness Gardens(Image: Ness Gardens)

The gardens at Ness were created in 1898 by Cheshire born businessman and botanist Arthur Kilpin Bulley to grow and introduce plants to the UK from numerous plant hunting expeditions.

Mr Bulley, said to have been responsible for introducing hundreds of new botanical species to the UK, also set up the Bees Seeds which was the third biggest seed company in the country.

The gardens were donated to the University of Liverpool in 1948 by his daughter Lois.

Ness is internationally respected for its outstanding plant collections and is major north west of England visitor attraction.

The 64 acres of landscaped gardens, woodland and wildflower meadow attract over 70,000 visitors every year.

Other venues visited by the programme have included an open prison and a nudist club in Wales.

What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments below.

View full mobile page