Doddington Place Gardens

Near Sittingbourne, Kent.

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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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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The South London Botanical Institute

Posted: November 4th, 2022

The delights of the South London Botanical Institute, based at a Victorian villa on the busy Norwood Road, are myriad.   ‘School children often gasp when they walk into the building. It reminds them of Harry Potter, says Nell Gatehouse, the Administrator.  The Institute has an enchanting garden brimming with more than 500 plants, and has

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Enticing holiday lets in renowned gardens

Posted: March 14th, 2022

An attractive dilemma for garden lovers pondering where to go for a staycation is to choose between renting the Wayside Byre at the internationally renowned plant nursery, Marchants  run by Graham Gough and Lucy Goffin in Sussex,or the Potting Shed adjacent to celebrated topiarist Charlotte Molesworth’s magical garden in Kent. Both holiday lets are well

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The Franciscan Gardens, Canterbury, Kent

Posted: December 20th, 2021

That an extensive 800 year-old garden is hidden just behind Canterbury’s St. Peter’s Street is, I suspect, virtually unknown to the scores of shoppers and tourists strolling along the bustling thoroughfare. The Franciscan Gardens date from 1224 when the first Franciscan Friars to be sent to England by Francis of Assisi arrived in Canterbury. Today

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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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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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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 steps away from the Company

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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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