Liz Kempster, from the festival committee said: “The festival started at the turn of the millennium, and was initially billed as a one-off event. It has gone from strength to strength and this is now our 18th year.”

Vice-chairmain of the RHS, Roy Lancaster, will open the festival on 6th October with a reflection on his life. There will also be sessions held by Guardian dance critic Judith Mackrell and award winning food writer Elisabeth Luard. Books will be signed at each event.

Plantsman and RHS vice-chairman Roy Lancaster, of Gardeners World fame, will open proceedings on October 6 with a reflection on his life through people, plants and places.

Later in the festival, The Guardian’s dance critic Judith Mackrell will lift the lid on a mysterious Venetian palazzo, while A Literary Lunch with award-winning food-writer Elisabeth Luard is also on offer.

To find out more, or to buy tickets, visit