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Showing posts from May, 2015

Swing into summer with a visit to Sussex Prairies - a veritable feast for the eyes!

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There's no other garden anywhere like Sussex Prairies. This is the largest prairie-planted garden in England and, if you haven't visited before, definitely one to see this summer.  This unique six-acre plot will enchant you, as will the home-baked cakes you can enjoy in the tea shop during or after your visit. Paul and Pauline McBride (who you're highly likely to encounter during your visit) are the brains behind this landscape, which they created from a field at the rear of their home near Brighton in Sussex.  This unique naturalistic garden offers vistas you will see nowhere else, planting that will lift your spirits and plenty of alternative entertainment throughout the summer months including workshops, theatre and music events and, at the end of the summer, a Rare and Unusual Plant Fair (September 6, 2015) that attracts some of the best plantsmen in the country, showing their wares.  The McBrides planted this garden just seven years ago, but you'd never guess this w…

Great Comp - a spectacular plantsman's garden in Kent

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When you arrive at Great Comp and start walking around the seven acres of gardens, you'd be forgiven for thinking you've stumbled across an ancient site where the owner has made the most of the available landscape around crumbling Gothic ruins to create an unusual garden filled with interesting and rare plants. But the "ruins" were actually created over the years by late owner, Roderick Cameron and his wife and are a clever reconstruction of ironstone rubble found in the grounds of the house they bought nearly sixty years ago. 
When the Camerons moved there in 1957 there was little to see and certainly no garden to speak of - just four acres of land that was hugely overgrown. After 50 years of hard work and the acquisition of adjoining land, the result today is a stunning garden providing year-round interest, with some of the finest magnolias and rhododendrons anywhere in England in the spring, and a collection of salvias that attracts visitors from far and wide in th…

Wordless Wednesday - Artisan Gardens at RHS Chelsea 2015

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If you're heading for RHS Chelsea this week, don't miss the Artisan Gardens, tucked away at the side of the show - they're a brilliant source of ideas for your own garden, with fantastic attention to detail.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 - Preview of The Show Gardens

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Bluebell bonanza at Hole Park in Kent - catch them while you can!

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When I glimpse rivers of blue in woodland glades, I know that spring is finally here. This year has seen bumper bluebell crops after an unusually mild winter and the dazzling blue flower is everywhere, basking in dappled sunshine - in verges at the side of the road and every available woodland space. But for a true spring spectacular with bluebells as far as the eye can see, head to one of Britain's best-kept garden secrets - Hole Park in Kent.  This family-run estate at the heart of the Kentish Weald has fine views over the surrounding countryside and one of the finest bluebell crops in the country. The woodland walk is spectacular in springtime, even though many of the azaleas and rhododendrons are yet to flower. And the formal gardens around the house, with 15 acres of immaculately-clipped topiary and green vistas will lift your spirits on any sunny summer day. Hole Park is undoubtedly one of the best spring gardens in the country. It opens its doors at the end of March and remai…