Doddington Place Gardens

Near Sittingbourne, Kent.

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…

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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,’…

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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…

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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…

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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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