Doddington Place Gardens

Near Sittingbourne, Kent.

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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Posted: April 12th, 2019

Hurrah for the nursery Edibleculture, whose aim is ‘to never let a plastic pot leave the premises.’ As all gardeners know this an ambitious statement to make – don’t we all have large piles of old plastic plant pots? The advent of the POSIpot is set to revolutionize horticulture retailing. Resembling a noodle pot, the

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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 whole year round? I suspect

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Arvensis, a new wholesale plant nursery.

Posted: November 13th, 2017

If you are an avid garden Instagrammer, you will have no doubt come across the striking crisp images posted by Arvensis, a new wholesale trade plant nursery. Intrigued to find out more, I set off for Bradford-on-Avon, eager to see if the nursery lives up to its online profile. I was not disappointed – rarely

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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 fairy godmother in the form

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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 is in for a visual

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In The Pink – Scented Pinks

Posted: May 27th, 2016

Scented garden pinks are among the most beguiling of all flowers with their dainty little faces and delicious spicy clove scent. Allwoods nursery have been breeding and propagating pinks for over a hundred years. Allwoods have one of the largest collections of ‘Heritage Pinks’ including a few dating from the 1600s. To give a few

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Easy English orchids

Posted: November 30th, 2015

Hurrah for McBeans, the specialist orchid nursery and a remarkable survival of the craze for orchids that swept stately home hothouses in the late 19th-century. It still occupies the site where it was originally founded in 1879 near Lewes, Sussex. But a year ago its tragic demise was imminent. ‘We had already begun selling off

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Marchants Nursery, Sussex

Posted: October 5th, 2015

Arriving at Marchants for the first time is an exhilarating experience. Down a little country lane, the renowned nursery beloved by plantsmen is discreetly hidden away. The eye is immediately captivated by great swathes of strikingly original planting set against the ravishing backdrop of the South Downs. I first visited Marchants ( well over a decade

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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. His parents also work in the

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