The 4th Garden Museum Literary Festival to come to Boughton

1st March, 2017

The Garden Museum has announced the ticket launch and first speakers for the 2017 Garden Museum Literary Festival, which will be hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch at Boughton House.

 The Festival, now in its fourth year, brings together the greats of the gardening and literary worlds for a unique summer’s weekend of talks and events on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July.

On Saturday 1st July, KIM WILKIE will launch the Festival with a talk about his work and the evolution of his acclaimed landform, ‘Orpheus’, created for the Boughton Estate.  LORD AND LADY HESELTINE will be joined by SIR ROY STRONG to discuss the creation of their own Northamptonshire garden (Thenford) – the subject of their recently published book.

ANNA PAVORD and URSULA BUCHAN will also share memories of Sir David Scott, Valerie Finnis and their garden at the Dower House, while DAN PEARSON will talk on his book of collected journalism, Natural Selection: A Year in the Garden, which is anticipated this Spring.

On Sunday 2nd July, ISABEL AND JULIAN BANNERMAN will discuss the designs featured in their new book, Landscape of Dreams.  And, in a bow to Boughton, ‘the English Versailles’, LOUIS BENECH will join us from France to argue that ‘Britain needs more French style’, in conversation with TANIA COMPTON.

 Other guest speakers announced include Tim Richardson, Charles Jencks and Richard Mabey, and the full programme will be announced in March.

 Festival-goers can also enjoy tours of Boughton’s beautiful Gardens by the House’s head gardener, Bernard Opara, plus a preview of Boughton’s special summer exhibition.

The Tapestry Suite will display a selection of Tessa Traeger’s photographs from the National Portrait Gallery exhibition, A Gardener’s Labyrinth and on Saturday 1st July, the day will close with vocal ensemble, I FAGIOLINI in concert.

Garden Museum Director, Christopher Woodward said, “What makes the Garden Museum Literary Festival unique is that it moves from place to place every year becoming a collaboration with its setting.  Last year we thought: ‘Where next?’  We are delighted that the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch have offered to host this year’s Festival at Boughton, a house- and garden- with such a great history.”

Boughton House, five miles from Kettering, is one of the most handsome Baroque houses in England and is set into an early 18th-century landscape of breathtaking geometric vision. But it has also become a place of personality and surprise, from the secret garden, made by Sir David Scott and Valerie Finnis, to Kim Wilkie’s ‘Orpheus’, commissioned by the 10th Duke and Duchess as a 21st century complement to the restoration of the estate’s Baroque canals and fountains. This restoration work culminated in the reinstatement of the Estate’s Grand Etang lake in 2015.

Charles Lister, property manager at Boughton House, said: “We are big admirers of the festival and are looking forward to welcoming it and a host of wonderful speakers and visitors to the Estate this summer.

“We are very proud of the heritage of our Gardens and Grade One Designed Landscape, which has been lovingly restored in recent years, and we want to celebrate this and the many other wonderful gardens throughout the UK, with the help of the many literary voices leading gardening thought today.”

To find out more about upcoming events at Boughton House, visit

The Garden Museum Literary Festival moves from place to place each year, and this year will be held at Boughton House, over the weekend 1st– 2nd July 2017. Tickets for this weekend are strictly limited to retain the festival’s unique and intimate atmosphere.

On both days talks will be divided between the Tapestry Suite, and Great Hall of Boughton House and the 18th century ‘Mount’ in the grounds. During the day the Gardens and Park will be open to guests.

  • Day tickets cost: £90 (Garden Museum Friends); £110 (standard); £25 (under 25s)
  • Weekend tickets cost: £160 (Garden Museum Friends); £195 (standard); £45 (under 25s)

 Ticket prices exclude lunch and refreshments, which will be available to purchase on the site.

 Tickets can be booked online via (NB online booking will incur the ticket agent’s booking fee) or by calling 020 7401 8865.