Lecture April 25 Gardens in the Veneto, Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, London SW7. Gardening writer Robin Lane Fox will talk about the rich heritage of Veneto gardens. Reception from 6pm, lecture at 7pm. Tickets £20 (020– 7736 6891; www.veniceinperil.org)
Literary festival April 27–30 Chipping Norton Literary Festival, Oxfordshire. Featuring Ian Rankin, Jenni Murray, Joanna Trollope, Armando Iannucci and COUNTRY LIFE writers Matthew Dennison and John Lewis-stempel. Visit the website for schedule and pricing (www.chiplitfest.com; 01608 642350)
Gardens April 22 Festival of Tulips (above), Dunsborough Park, Ripley, Surrey. This spectacular tulip meadow display is not to be missed. 12pm– 4pm. Adult entry £7, children free (http://dunsboroughpark.com; 01483 225366)
April 22–23 RHS National Rhododendron Show and Competition, RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Devon. More than 60 classes showcasing all types of rhododendrons with trade and advice stands, plus magnolia and camellia displays. Normal garden admission applies (www.rhs.org.uk; 01805 624067)
Hunt race April 22 The Silver Spur, Barnets Barn Farm, Southam, Warwickshire. Traditional hunt ride over two and a half miles of undulating old turf, with 21 hedges and three open ditches. 12pm start, to be followed by two other rides. Car entry £5, refreshments available (http:// bicesterhunt.co.uk)
Exhibition Until April 29 Silkscreens by Barbara Rae (below), Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-thames, Oxfordshire. A showcase of prints combining the atmosphere and colours of Scotland and Ireland with painterly abstraction (01491 576228; www. bohungallery.co.uk)
Until May 6 ‘A Kind of Simplicity’, Young Gallery, Salisbury, Wiltshire. Representative collection of the works of the late Kenneth Rowntree, one of the Great Bardfield artists (www.younggallerysalisbury.co.uk; 01722 343275)
Book now August 4 Charity clay shoot, Sandringham estate, Norfolk. Now in its 13th year, proceeds will go to the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust. There will be five drives, lunch, an auction and prizes. £650 per team of four, individual guns £175 (01485 542822; www.holtsauctioneers.com) Oare House, near Pewsey, Wiltshire SN8 4JQ April 23, 2pm–6pm. £5.50, children free An exemplary country-house garden with formal gardens and sweeping lawns around the Georgian house (not open), walled kitchen gardens, woodland walks and panoramic views out to the Pewsey Vale. Redesigned by Clough Williams-ellis in the 1920s, it benefits from constant care and attention from the present owner. Don’t miss the magnolia garden.