Doddington Place Gardens

Near Sittingbourne, Kent.

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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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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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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Lida Kindersley and Steven Coghill at King’s College, Cambridge

Posted: July 3rd, 2021

King’s College, Cambridge, has a new energy-efficient development  on Cranmer Road, designed by Allies and Morrison and built to Passivhaus standard, to provide new accommodation for the College’s graduate students.It is a haven of floriferous joy:  an exquisite slate memorial frieze, brimming with flowers designed and carved by the renowned Cardozo Kindersley Workshop, complements the

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Legendary plantsman, Maurice Foster

Posted: November 9th, 2020

Over the years, White House Farm, near Sevenoaks, has become a mecca for plantsmen the world over. Home to more than 200 different kinds of magnolia, hundreds of hydrangeas (many of them bred by Maurice), an outstanding collection of climbing roses, a fine arboretum of more than 3000 trees and shrubs, masses of viburnums, over

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Flowers delivered to the door during the Coronavirus emergency

Posted: April 2nd, 2020

What could be more cheering than receiving a bunch of English flowers during this horrid Coronavirus emergency? Luckily a few plucky wholesalers and growers are battling on. I have talked to a wholesaler and a florist who both specialise in British grown flowers: ‘Flowers don’t know there is a lockdown,’ says Ben Cross, the renowned

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Faversham Open Gardens 2019

Posted: June 18th, 2019

If you love visiting gardens you are in for a treat on Sunday 30th June, when an astonishing tally of 30 gardens are taking part in Faversham Open Gardens Day. The attractive ancient market town in East Kent has much to offer – fine architecture, good eateries, a fascinating history -but above all it is

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Flower Fairies

Posted: August 10th, 2018

Do you believe in Fairies? In today’s technological world I am pleased to say that fairies are as popular as ever. The desire to escape and believe is still potent. Young, middle-aged and aged fairy fanciers are flocking to the ‘Flower Fairies’ exhibition at the Garden Museum until 30 September 2018. There is something utterly enchanting about

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