Why not volunteer?

We need volunteers who are interested in gardens, horticulture, social and cultural history, local history or archaeology to get involved and help support our work .

The Trust would like to enrol more volunteers who are interested in researching gardens and if you would like to join our enthusiastic team helping to understand more about our garden heritage, please contact us .

Volunteers at Marle Place

Become a member!

  • Help preserve Kent's garden heritage!
  • Be actively involved in conservation and research projects!
  • Receive regular newsletters!
  • Come along to informative and entertaining events

Go to the membership page to read more and to join the Trust online!.

Scotney Castle

Doddington Place

Conservation projects

The garden next to the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone has been planted and looked after by Kent Gardens Trust for many years. It is at the side of the remains of what was once a great Palace, on the bank of the River Medway, on the way from London to Canterbury. The remaining Palace buildings belong to Maidstone Borough Council. One houses the famous carriage collection and the main building is used by Kent County Council as a Registry Office, so the garden is much used for wedding photographs!

The Archbishop's Garden, Maidstone

In 2015, with help of a Landfill Tax grant, KGT refurbished and replanted the garden. It was originally planted as a medieval apothecary's garden but we have updated it to a more ornamental garden. The herbs and medicinal plants are still there but roses, lilies and fruit trees were also grown in those times.

The Archbishop's Garden, Maidstone


A 16th century garden from Adam Lonicer's
book Krauterbuch of 1557 with raised beds,
plants in pots and herbs, flowers and fruit

There are now chunky, new oak edging boards, like the ones in the illustration. This is from an early Herbal by Lonicer, dated 1557. The honeysuckle genus, Lonicera, is named after him and honeysuckle was a popular garden plant. The new ones in the garden come from a local hedgerow.

Planning Applications

Planning Issues

There are approximately 1600 parks and gardens on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England together with local lists of parks and gardens of local significance identified by the local planning authority. Following the merger of the Garden History Society with the Association of Gardens Trusts in 2015 to form The Gardens Trust, the statutory consultee status was transferred to The Gardens Trust in relation to Grades I, II* and II registered sites.

Local planning authorities are required to consult The Gardens Trust on planning applications related to registered gardens and landscapes in England and Wales. The Gardens Trust produces a weekly list of conservation consultations which are issued to the County Gardens Trust. In Kent, there are 61 registered parks and gardens and there may be others which are included on local lists. We are looking for volunteers to assist us in liaising with the local planning officers and responding to these applications in particular where a park or garden may be at risk.

If you are concerned about a proposed development that may adversely affect a park, garden or landscape in your community please contact us.