Before the hugely-popular Chilli Fiesta takes place at West Dean Gardens (nr Chichester, West Sussex) from Friday, August 9 to Sunday, August 11, 2019, West Dean's new Head Gardener Tom Brown and his colleague Laura Hughes share their top tips on growing chillies:
Gardening talks and tours
Now in its 24th year, West Dean Chilli Fiesta offers a wide range of activities that will appeal to the gardener. Hear from a variety of experts with gardening talks and demonstrations in the Garden Theatre. Mark Diacono will be hosting the Garden Theatre this year and will be giving talks on his book 'Taste of the Unexpected'. Visitors can learn about unusual, delicious edibles that anyone can grow - everything from Szechuan pepper to Carolina allspice. Mark will also be running Garden Cocktail tasting sessions, where he'll share his expert knowledge on how to grow herbs and incorporate them into delicious cocktail recipes.
Wildlife writer for The Guardian and author of 'The Wildlife Gardener', Kate Bradbury, will be talking about her passion for organic wildlife-friendly gardening, and Lia Leendertz will also be appearing in the theatre over the weekend and discussing the month of August from her 2019 Almanac.
There will be talks from chilli-growing experts throughout the weekend, and opportunities to see displays of a huge variety of chilli plants in the Victorian Glasshouses on the daily tours with the West Dean gardeners. Browse the plant sale at the Gardens Shop for chilli plants to take home and grow (and eat!) for yourself.