KGT Update June 2020Posted: 1st Jun 2020

Kent Gardens Trust - new and ongoing activities

We fully expect to bounce back to a normal state of activity once this crisis eases.

We have had to cancel all our events until the end of July but are hoping to offer the Events scheduled for the autumn or postponed from earlier in the year. See our Events page for details. We also very much hope to hold a Garden Party at Hole Park next year,

We shall be starting a project with Swale Borough Council to undertake research on approximately 20 parks and gardens. We are looking for new volunteers to join our Research team.
If you would like to find out more about being a research volunteer please contact either Cilla Freud ( or 07961 371794) or Mike O’Brien ( or 07766 433722).

Our Planning Review team continue the important work of scrutinising planning applications which impinge upon garden or park heritage assets in Kent. If you are interested in joining this team please contact Mike O’Brien ( or 07766 433722).

Research Volunteers Needed!Posted: 17th Apr 2020

Kent Gardens Trust are pleased to announce that they have recently been awarded a project by Swale Borough Council to research the history of approximately twenty parks and gardens in the Swale district. We are looking for volunteers to supplement our research team.

There is preparatory work which we can undertake during the current crisis, so that hopefully we can make a start on the project later in the year.

If you would like to join us or find out more what being a research volunteer entails then please contact either

Cilla Freud at or 07961 371794 or
Mike O’Brien at or 07766 433722

Garden Centres still supplying!Posted: 4th Apr 2020

We are so lucky in the South East to have garden centres/nurseries who are offering new ways of getting their stock to us. The Gardening for Disabled Trust has listed some that that may be able to help you get your plants!

Bethersden - Madrona Nursery
Madrona have a nursery full of plants and can deliver orders within 10miles - no charge for delivery - and further for a small charge.
Payment over the phone by card or by BACS transfer before delivery and specific instructions as to where to leave the plants make contact less purchase possible.

Broad Oak - Rapkyns Nursery
Rapkyns offers a wide range of perennials, climbers and shrubs including many unusual varieties. Their catalogue is on their website
They can supply plants by mail order or for collection or local delivery. E-mail address, Mobile: 07771 916933

Cranbrook - Bumbles Plant Centre
Bumbles are offering delivery for orders over £50 and a click and collect service. Check their website for details and order form. Wide range of plants,compost and other garden supplies.

Cranbrook - Mrs Anne Gurr
Tomato plants by appointment from her stand on Cranbrook/Tenterden road. Payment by bank transfer. Phone: 01580 713843 for details.

Edenbridge - How Green Nursery
How Green are offering a 'contact-less' delivery service. You simply email your order, pay by BACS and they'll deliver to a dedicated drop-off point. How Green adhere to strict social distancing measures and hygiene, and have a huge range of plants including perennials, grasses, alpines, shrubs, trees, patio plants and herbs.

Headcorn - Bean Place Nursery
Bean Place are offering a delivery service within 20 miles of Headcorn for orders over £25.00. Customers are welcome to click and collect via the website. Collections can be made safely from a designated spot at the nursery or we can send them through the post for as long as the post office allows. Phone 07841484822 or 07779728378. Please check their new Facebook page or go to

Linton - Blooming Green
Blooming Green Flowers are planning a new initiative - please keep an eye on their website.

Marden - Golden Hill Plants
Golden Hill Plants are taking orders and payment online for their wide range of plants and shrubs. They can be delivered or left at the gate on a trolley. Details online at or call Fiona on: 01622-833218

Sissinghurst - Iris of Sissinghurst
Iris of Sissinghurst have quite a few iris that would have made up displays at Chelsea Flower Show.
They are still doing mail order and will continue to do so as long as post offices are open.
Go online and order or phone Sue at the nursery to chat about what we have. Website: and contact information is there.

Staplehurst - Frankie's Farm Shop & Staplehurst Nurseries
Staplehurst Nurseries, an award-winning commercial nursery which normally sells through London outlets, now offering plants for sale. Bulk orders can be delivered (minimum charge applies).

Events 2020Posted: 26th Mar 2020

All the visits that were due to take place in April, May and June have been cancelled or postponed.

For the time being we will keep the July 18th Garden Party at Hole Park on the agenda.
We also hope to find replacement slots in September or October if at all possible for visits to Vinters Park, Reighton Wood and White House Farm
At present we are also keeping the September 22nd trip to Wotton and Albury, and the two London Walks on Oct 3rd and 6th on the agenda.

We hope to send out a positive note in June and can only hope that things improve a bit faster than currently predicted.


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.

Spring lecture POSTPONEDPosted: 13th Mar 2020

With enormous regret we have decided to postpone our Spring Meeting tomorrow 14th March.
It is our firm intention to hold the event later in the year. Our guest speaker, James Bolton is very happy to oblige if at all possible.

Salutation garden visit - Cancelled!Posted: 10th Mar 2020

Regrettably it is not possible for the Salutation garden visit on 4th August to go ahead. We have received the following message from the Salutation gardeners:
"We are very sorry to inform you that due to legal reasons we are unable to reopen the garden at the Salutation, Sandwich, and therefore cannot honour your group booking for 4th August as hoped. Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.
Yours sincerely
Steve and Louise
The gardeners"
Anyone who has already booked for this visit will of course receive a full refund.

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.