Doddington Place Gardens

Crossing the Borders

Irises of Sissinghurst

Posted: May 16th, 2018

Irises are all the rage, no doubt partly fuelled by the two current exhibitions devoted to Cedric Morris, the celebrated 20th-century painter of and breeder of irises (The Garden Museum and the Philip Mould Gallery). Did you know that it is possible to have an iris in flower virtually the…

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Flora Roberts, muralist and wallpaper and fabric designer.

Posted: February 16th, 2018

  Flora Roberts, her first name entirely apt as an example of nominative determinism, paints exquisite floral murals as well as designing handsome wallpapers and fabrics. The majority of contemporary murals are often woefully badly painted, but not so Flora’s. Her work is imbued with a sensitive delicacy which lends…

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The Walled Nursery, Hawkhurst, Kent

Posted: September 20th, 2017

There is a fairy tale Sleeping Beauty element to the renaissance of the old walled garden of Tongswood (now St. Ronan’s School), near Hawkhurst, Kent. It is now the renowned Walled Nursery, a mecca for plant lovers. It is a story of a determined couple, both passionate horticulturalists, and a…

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Bloomin’ Jewels

Posted: May 8th, 2017

As gardens spring into life, contemporary floral jewellery is celebrated in thrilling Bloomin’ Jewels, a selling exhibition at Contemporary Applied Arts (CCA). ‘I thought, let’s go crazy,’ says Christine Lalumia, the enthusiastic director of CAA, telling me how the exhibition came about. ‘What can we do to bring gardens to…

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Green’s of Devon – Edible Flowers

Posted: March 20th, 2017

Edible flowers are not used nearly enough. Hurrah for Green’s of Devon, who sell herbs, edible flowers and garnishes online, offering a next day delivery service anywhere in the country. A quick glance at Green’s Instagram makes one want to place an order immediately. Each image is a beguiling visual…

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The Christmas Garland at Cotehele, Cornwall

Posted: December 5th, 2016

Any gardeners searching for the true spirit of Christmas should head west to Cotehele House in Cornwall, a property of the National Trust. There you will find a ravishing 60 foot long Christmas garland made up of more than 31,000 dried flowers adorning the Great Hall. At first one could…

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Tom Brown, Head Gardener of Parham House, West Sussex

Posted: September 23rd, 2016

Tom Brown, Head Gardener at Parham House, West Sussex, is surely destined to become a luminary of the horticultural world. As one steps into the four acre walled garden it is immediately apparent that here is an exhilarating garden steered by a consummate plantsman. At every turn there is something…

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Kentish Lavender

Posted: August 26th, 2016

‘Scents come in and out of fashion but lavender doesn’t,’ says Caroline Alexander of the Hop Shop at  Castle Farm in Kent, one of the largest English lavender growers. Anyone fortunate enough to visit Castle Farm during the few weeks when the 90 acres of lavender plants are in flower…

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Delphiniums

Posted: June 10th, 2016

Redolent of Arts and Crafts gardens, delphiniums stood sentinel in lush Edwardian herbaceous borders in those legendary hot summers before the First World War. Appropriately an important collection of Delphiniums is at Godinton House, Kent, whose garden was designed by that great Edwardian architect and garden designer, Sir Reginald Blomfield…

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Camellias at Chiswick House

Posted: March 1st, 2016

To step into the elegant camellia filled glasshouse at Chiswick House during the next couple of weeks is to be transported to the rarefied world of early 19th-century aristocrats who revelled in exotic plants. In an age when it is possible to buy tropical plants from any old garden centre…

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