Doddington Place Gardens

Near Sittingbourne, Kent.

The National Garden Scheme Snowdrop Festival

Posted: January 30th, 2017

Hurrah for the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) Snowdrop Festival which is on throughout February. As the days are beginning to lengthen and signs of spring emerge the prospect of a garden visit is a welcome tonic, whether you want to admire the different varieties of snowdrops or have a walk in lovely surroundings. More than

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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 be forgiven for thinking the

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Petal and Pen

Posted: October 25th, 2016

Artificial flowers: the very phrase conjures up tired dusty arrangements adorning a National Trust drawing room. Who in their right minds would ever opt for ‘artificial’? The delightfully named Petal and Pen will make you reconsider ‘fake’ flowers. In fact, I defy anyone not to be entranced by the exquisite tissue paper flowers meticulously created

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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 to delight and intrigue whether

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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 is in for a visual

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A Romantic Scottish Island Garden

Posted: July 22nd, 2016

  Anyone going to the ravishingly beautiful Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides this August should make a beeline for Torosay Castle.  Just a few minutes drive from the ferry at Craignure, it is one of the most beguiling and romantic gardens I have ever visited. If walking appeals there is a good path from Craignure through woodland to ,the castle. Since it

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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 (1856-1942) in 1902. This year’s Delphinium

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In The Pink – Scented Pinks

Posted: May 27th, 2016

Scented garden pinks are among the most beguiling of all flowers with their dainty little faces and delicious spicy clove scent. Allwoods nursery have been breeding and propagating pinks for over a hundred years. Allwoods have one of the largest collections of ‘Heritage Pinks’ including a few dating from the 1600s. To give a few

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A Skip Garden in the heart of London.

Posted: May 12th, 2016

A garden in a skip? These days there seems to be no end of imaginative new forms of gardening as a quick glimpse of the forthcoming ChelseaFringe events testify. The Skip Garden is an extraordinarily imaginative community garden run by Global Generation just north of Kings Cross. Once a forgotten area of London it has been

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Fergus Garrett of Great Dixter, Sussex

Posted: April 13th, 2016

‘”Why don’t you do horticulture?” I didn’t even know what it meant’ says Fergus Garrett, of Great Dixter, as he explains why he switched from agriculture whilst studying at Wye College, Kent. The gardening fraternity has a lot to thank his Director of Studies for. ‘My first class was garden design with Tom Wright, ‘one

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