Meet the gardening experts
Mark Diacono, food writer, grower and photographer at Otter Farm, will be appearing at Chilli Fiesta on Sunday 7 August. Mark says he is "lucky enough to spend most of my time eating, growing, writing and talking about food". He is the author of seven award winning books, including A Year at Otter Farm which won the Andre Simon Food Book of the Year 2014.
Visitors will have the opportunity to pick up growing tips from Sarah Wain, Gardens Supervisor and a chilli growing expert. Sarah and husband, Jim Buckland, Gardens Manager, were recently noninated Outstanding Winners of the Custodian Award by Horticulture Week for 25 Years of Glorious Gardening at West Dean.
Sarah will be giving informal talks around the walled kitchen gardens, featuring 13 fully working Victorian glasshouses, designed by Foster & Pearson between 1895 and 1901, where she grows an abundance of fruit and vegetables, surrounded by colourful flower borders.
It is 25 years since Sarah and Jim began the remarkable transformation of West Dean Gardens from a derelict site into the internationally renowned 19th century landscape of today. Inspired by the BBC's Victorian Kitchen Garden (1987) the renovation of the walled gardens were one of the first projects, taking two years to complete.