Doddington Place Gardens

Near Sittingbourne, Kent.

Doddington Place Gardens meets George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme

Posted: April 18th, 2024

‘I’ve known about the National Garden Scheme all my life,’ says George.  ‘My mother used to open our garden [Goodnestone Park Gardens in Kent] half a dozen days a year. She would despatch myself and my brothers on our bikes to put up the NGS signs. We used to get hundreds of visitors.’ The venerable

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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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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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The Glasshouse Botanic

Posted: December 17th, 2020

The Glasshouse Botanic Design is an inspiring new social enterprise initiative launched earlier this year, at East Sutton Park, an open women’s prison in Kent. The brainchild of social entrepreneur Melissa Murdoch, and Kali Hamerton-Stove, the Project Director, the idea is to utilise the abandoned glasshouses that these days are to be found languishing at

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Thrive, the marvellous gardening charity.

Posted: January 11th, 2016

The sad news of the demise of the charity ‘Gardening Leave’ at the end of last year inspired me to investigate charities working with horticulture as a way of helping people with a wide range of disabilities, ill health, or who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. Thrive, the leading gardening charity in the UK is

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The Abbey Physic Community Garden in Faversham, Kent

Posted: March 26th, 2015

Having just been given a handsome new book ‘Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds’ by Victoria Summerley ( my thoughts naturally turned to the ‘secret gardens of East Kent. The Abbey Physic Community Garden ( in the ancient market town of Faversham instantly sprang to mind. Tucked away behind the churchyard of St. Mary of Charity by

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Green charity ‘Floral Angels’ – a novel way of re-cycling flowers.

Posted: October 28th, 2014

Sitting at a wedding or a charity event have you ever wondered what eventually happens to the floral decorations? The chances are that their final destiny is to be dumped into a landfill site. Three cheers for the imaginative ‘green’ charity ‘Floral Angels’ that restyles donated flowers from events, weddings, florists and retailers into bouquets and delivers them

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