Swale research projectPosted: 12th Oct 2021

Kent Gardens Trust are currently carrying out research of historic parks and gardens for Swale Borough Council. So far eight council-owned sites are being researched, these are:-
Bell Road Cemetery, Sittingbourne
Beachfields Park, Sheerness
Faversham Recreation Ground
Grove Park, Sittinbourne
Johnson House Gardens, Sittingbourne
King George V Playing Fields, Faversham
King George V Playing Fields, Sittingbourne
Love Lane Cemetery, Faversham
Sheerness & Sheppey Cemetery, Halfway, Isle of Sheppey

We would welcome any background information of these sites and any further suggestions for sites to research within the borough.

Where the Wildness PleasesPosted: 3rd Oct 2021

Caroline Holmes, well-known garden historian and radio and TV presenter, is giving a series of four ZOOM lectures based on her new book which is a delightful homage to English horticultural excellence at one with the pleasing wildness in which it sits.
The focus is on the High Weald and features many well-known gardens. The lecture series is supported by the Kent Gardens Trust and also the Sussex Gardens Trust and the NGS (National Garden Scheme).

For full details go to

The Gardens Trust weekly blogPosted: 1st Oct 2021

David Marsh, the key figure in establishing The Gardens Trust's outstanding output of ZOOM lectures, has written a witty and erudite weekly blog on all aspects of Garden History for many years.

His offerings are now more easily available via The Gardens Trust website. Just go to the website and then click on "visit our blog" in the top right corner. They are released early on Saturday mornings in time to stir us for the whole weekend!

Blooming Gardens at Walmer CastlePosted: 18th Jun 2021

Kent Gardens Trust will have a stall at English Heritage's "Blooming Gardens" Event at Walmer Castle. Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th June, 10 am to 5 pm. Tickets for the event included in Walmer Castle Admission and can be purchased on English Heritage site

Spring Lecture via zoom April 27th 2021Posted: 2nd Apr 2021

Why our gardens should change - Dave Goulson
We are in the midst of the 6th mass extinction event, with extinctions occurring faster than at any time in the last 65 million years. ‘Bioabundance’ is in decline, with recent studies showing that insects in particular seem to be
disappearing fast. If it continues, this will have profound consequences for mankind and for our planet. Dave Goulson will explain why insects are in decline, and suggest how we can all help to tackle this crisis, by turning our gardens and urban greenspaces into oases for life. He will discuss the many things we should do, and those things we should not do, to welcome bumblebees, butterflies, and a plethora of other wildlife into our gardens and into our lives.
Booking is now open for our Spring Lecture via Zoom in conjunction with The Gardens Trust.
Book at
All other 2021 events can be booked on the Kent Gardens Trust Events page.

News from The Gardens TrustPosted: 28th Sep 2020

News from The Gardens Trust
Our sister organisation The Gardens Trust has a new Chairman, Peter Hughes. Peter has set out some of the big challenges the Gardens Trust is now facing in the light of proposals which could have a profound impact on our garden and landscape heritage.
For example:
reform of the planning system and the release of land for development
possible change of strategy at the National Trust

The GT has a vital role to play, assisted by County Garden Trusts, as statutory consultees for all planning applications concerning a listed garden or designed landscape. GT also monitors other changes which do not require a planning application.

Learning about historic gardens
The Gardens Trust also runs a range of lectures and courses, open to both members and the general public. The programme of talks, training and educational programmes is currently all online.
Full details are on the website

Delos Garden at Sissinghurst - one year onPosted: 21st Jun 2020

From building site to newly planted garden: Delos garden transformed since last year. Well worth a visit to see the stunning progress made in this Mediterranean-style garden now that the National Trust has reopened. Designed by Dan Pearson.


Pieter Brueghel, Spring

Kent Gardens Trust manages this historic garden in the middle of Maidstone for the owner Maidstone Borough Council. It is next to the main surviving buildings of the palace, which is now the Registry Office. It is enclosed by the medieval walls and has the old jail on one side.

KGT replanted the garden five years ago with Entrust funding. We have used only plants described in John Parkinson’s Paradisus Terrestris, published in 1629, or earlier. There are flowers, bulbs, shrubs, roses, herbs, vegetables and fruit trees which provide colour and interest through the year for visitors and as a backdrop for wedding photographs.

The raised beds, with oak board edgings, are typical of the period, as shown in the illustration from Lonicer’s Kreuterbuch herbal of 1557. The wonderful Spring by Pieter Bruegel of 1620-30 shows how these gardens were intensively cultivated.

The garden is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.

Marian Boswall gardenPosted: 11th Jul 2019

photo by Jason Ingram

KGT Member Marian Boswall has been announced as winner of the Society of Garden Designers’ GRAND AWARD FOR 2019 as well as winner of the LARGE RESIDENTIAL GARDEN for her work at Reighton Wood, near Tenterden. There is an excellent article on the garden in Gardens Illustrated, July 2018 (written by Troy Scott Smith), and further information on Marian’s website

Delos Garden project at SissinghurstPosted: 27th Jun 2019

Recreating Delos Garden

Some of Vita and Harold’s ideas were unsuccessful. An area of their garden known as ‘Delos’, was inspired by their visit to the Greek isle in 1935. On their return they aimed to emulate the feel of Delos at Sissinghurst. However, the Kent climate and north-facing position of the garden, combined with their limited knowledge of Mediterranean planting, meant that the garden never really became all they hoped for and instead resulted in a woodland feel. The new concept addresses their issues around light, drainage and Mediterranean planting.

Garden designer, Dan Pearson, is working with the Sissinghurst team to complete Vita and Harold’s vision. Using current design practices, clever landscaping and a broader spectrum of planting, a more robust and sustainable garden will be created while still maintaining the spirit of Vita’s ambition.

Walmer Castle: opening Lost Pleasure GroundsPosted: 30th May 2019

Walmer Castle - the restored Glen

Kent Gardens Trust were invited to celebrate the opening of Walmer’s Lost Pleasure Grounds on 21 May. Lottery funding had allowed English Heritage to restore the perimeter woodland paths and to open up the Glen (a former chalk quarry) which had originally been created as part of the gardens by William Pitt the Younger and his niece Lady Hester Stanhope.

A new family trail has been created through the woods with a variety of activities for all ages to enjoy at various points along the trail. Having been overgrown and difficult to access, evergreen planting has taken place to represent the planting mentioned in Lady Hester Stanhope’s letters.
There is a new glasshouse café in the kitchen garden setting together with a purpose-built learning room for community use.
All well worth a visit.

Cherry Ingram bookPosted: 22nd Mar 2019

Cherry Ingram

Collingwood Ingram (1880 – 1981), known as Cherry for his defining obsession, is the subject of a book, ‘Cherry’ Ingram, by Naoko Abe to be published on 21st March by Chatto and Windus. It tells the story of Ingram’s visits to Japan and his fascination with the flowering cherry trees which had become in danger of neglect; his dedication to their preservation and propagation at his home in Benenden. The tale of his discovery of the great white cherry, Taihaku, in this country and its return to Japan is retold together with the history of the cultivation of cherry blossom in Japan and just how important it is to its people.

New book on Repton now available!Posted: 12th Oct 2018

Our book about Repton

We are delighted that our new book about the work of landscape gardener, Humphry Repton, is now available. Copies will be on sale at the Repton study day on 22nd October. You can also buy a copy online by going to the Publications page at The book costs only £8.00 for members (£10 for non-members). When ordering online you need a special member code to get the member discount. This was emailed to members in our recent mailshot or you can email our secretary, Lynn Phillips at or phone her on 07432 633697. Happy reading!

Archbishop's Palace garden given new lifePosted: 10th Oct 2017

Visitors enjoying the garden in September

Over the last few years the Archbishop's Palace garden in Maidstone has been refurbished and replanted by the Trust. You can read more about the work we have done on the Conservation page of the website. The photograph shows members of the public looking round the garden on the Heritage Open day in September this year when the Archbishop's Palace was also open. All Saints Church is in the background. The garden is open on most days so do pay a visit and take a look!

Great reaction to 'Capability Brown in Kent'!Posted: 6th Jun 2016

Valence in the early19th century

Many of you will have now read our new book 'Capability Brown in Kent' which was published towards the end of April 2016. We are delighted that many mainstream bookshops as well as most National Trust properties have agreed to sell the book. Sales are looking good so far. We are also really pleased that many eminent commentators have made very favourable comments about the book. Here are just two examples:

Professor Tom Williamson of University of East Anglia said 'What a wonderful book! Nice text, scholarly yet readable and beautifully produced. Congratulations to all concerned'.

Professor Michael Mullett of Lancaster University said 'This is a superb example of a collaborative production and you are all to be warmly congratulated - a lovely book in every sense, with beautiful illustrations on nearly every page and all at under £10. It will be well received'.

Go to our Capability Brown page for details of how to buy your copy.