Doddington Place Gardens

Near Sittingbourne, Kent.

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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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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Flowers at the ‘Nellie’ in Cape Town.

Posted: February 22nd, 2016

If you find yourself in Cape Town I highly recommend afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel. Not only is the array of cakes and biscuits on offer staggering in both its deliciousness and variety but the nine acre garden is also a delight. And it is just a few…

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Alstroemeria Ben

Posted: August 31st, 2015

plant nurseriesLilies of the Incas, Peruvian Lilies, or alstroemerias are beloved by florists due to their longevity as a cut flower. ‘”The perfect flower”’ is how our team describe them’ says Ben Cross, the fourth generation of his family to grow alstroemerias in a wholesale nursery near Chichester, West Sussex.…

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The Queen of Topiary

Posted: July 3rd, 2015

What’s not to love about topiary? Its whimsicality appeals to everyone whether they are gardeners or not. All manner of topiary can be found at the splendidly named Balmoral, one of the most original gardens made in England in the past few decades. Hidden away behind Benenden Church, in the…

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Winter Colour in Window Boxes

Posted: January 20th, 2015

Window boxes in towns and cities really come into their own in the dank winter months.  In the summer there are flowers to be seen at every turn, in parks, square gardens, window boxes not forgetting many florists displays spilling out across pavements.  But in winter the cheery sight of a window…

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Glorious PYO English Flowers in the heart of Kent.

Posted: October 1st, 2014

‘Pick your own flowers’ is a beguiling idea. High up on the greensand ridge above the Kentish Weald near Maidstone, Kent, ‘Blooming Green (’ is England’s only ‘PYO' cut flower business. Not surprisingly it is extraordinarily popular. The day I visited there were several extremely happy looking mothers with smiling children going…

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Why dahlias are today’s hottest trend.

Posted: September 19th, 2014

Love them or hate them dahlias are all the rage these days.  It is astonishing that not so very long ago dahlias were regarded by many as flowers in the worst possible taste.  It is thanks to the likes of the visionary Sarah Raven that they are once again…

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