Doddington Place Gardens

Near Sittingbourne, Kent.

The Serge Hill Project, a Community Interest Company recently started by Sue and Tom Stuart-Smith

Posted: October 18th, 2023

Anyone interested in gardens and the therapeutic benefits of gardening needs no introduction to the dynamic husband and wife duo of Tom and Sue Stuart-Smith.   Drawing on their prodigious knowledge and expertise they have started the Serge Hill Project, a Community Interest Company working in partnership with the local Hertfordshire based charity Sunnyside Rural Trust.

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Stokesay Flowers

Posted: September 28th, 2023

Seduced by Stokesay Flowers’ ravishing Instagram pictures, I was excited about meeting Victoria Martin, who with her husband, Barney grow thousands of cut flowers every year in south Shropshire. I wasn’t disappointed. ‘It’s all about romance.  Everything we do is supportive to wildlife.  We don’t use any chemicals,’ says Victoria, a sensitive soul who has

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Kent Wildflower Seeds

Posted: August 1st, 2023

Kent Wildflower Seeds, a recently launched offshoot of T. Denne & Sons, the largest processors of grass seed in the country has caught the zeitgeist and responds to the rapidly changing face of agriculture. Innovation, and no doubt a canny business acumen, has ensured the survival of T. Denne & Sons for nearly 150 years. 

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The Gardens of the Inner Middle Temple

Posted: May 18th, 2023

The delightful Inner Temple Garden deserves to be better known.  It is a tranquil 3-acre haven, brimming with horticultural interest, between the Embankment and Fleet Street. ‘I used to look through the hedges and think that it was an Embassy’s garden,’ says Sean Harkin, the Head Gardener. But it’s barristers not diplomats that are to

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Chelsea Fringe Events at Doddington Place Gardens

Posted: April 14th, 2023

This article is reprinted from The 2023 Chelsea Fringe Festival will be held from Saturday 20 May to Sunday 28 May and our local events will be held at Doddington Place Gardens,  just outside Faversham. Doddington Place has 10 acres of magnificently planted gardens including a woodland with towering technicolor camellias and rhododendrons, an

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Water Lane, Hawkhurst

Posted: February 20th, 2023

All walled gardens undergo a renaissance at some point in their history.   Just such a case is Water Lane near Hawkhurst, Kent.  Its last incarnation was the Walled Nursery (see blog post September 2017).  This wonderfully atmospheric 2 acre walled garden of what was the Tongswood estate is no longer a purveyor of plants but

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No Name Nursery

Posted: December 14th, 2022

To visit the intriguingly called ‘No Name Nursery ‘in East Kent is an exhilarating experience. In just three years Steve Edney and his partner Lou Dowle have established a veritable horticultural tour de force.  The scope of the enterprise is astonishing for both its vast range of plants and also for how well established the

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The South London Botanical Institute

Posted: November 4th, 2022

The delights of the South London Botanical Institute, based at a Victorian villa on the busy Norwood Road, are myriad.   ‘School children often gasp when they walk into the building. It reminds them of Harry Potter, says Nell Gatehouse, the Administrator.  The Institute has an enchanting garden brimming with more than 500 plants, and has

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A visit to the national collection of geums

Posted: May 4th, 2022

‘I have 115 different varieties of geums’ says Sue Martin who holds the national collection. The irresistible crinkly papery flowers are available in a wide range of colours from subtle shades of dusky pink to bright orange. ‘They are such useful plants in late spring flowering from February until June and the seed heads are

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Enticing holiday lets in renowned gardens

Posted: March 14th, 2022

An attractive dilemma for garden lovers pondering where to go for a staycation is to choose between renting the Wayside Byre at the internationally renowned plant nursery, Marchants  run by Graham Gough and Lucy Goffin in Sussex,or the Potting Shed adjacent to celebrated topiarist Charlotte Molesworth’s magical garden in Kent. Both holiday lets are well

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