Gardens to visit in Kent

PUBLISHED: 16:46 08 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:31 20 February 2013

Gardens to visit in Kent

Gardens to visit in Kent

June is peak garden visiting time and it is especially lovely to enjoy a group of glorious gardens in a Kent village on a summer's day

Gardens to visit on Kent

June is peak garden visiting time and it is especially lovely to enjoy a group of glorious gardens in a Kent village on a summers day

Garden open signs are frequent sights across Kent, whether part of the National Gardens Scheme or for local village fundraising events. There is sure to be a village group open near you in June. A lovely and economical way to spend an afternoon; park once and wander, with the advantage of one combined, very reasonable entrance fee and a variety of types of gardens and people to meet within a small area. Here are just 10 of the villages or hamlets where neighbours will be opening their garden gates this month.

Chainhurst gardens

Even though just two neighbouring farm cottage gardens open in this tiny hamlet, they are well worth a visit. Both are around a third-of-an-acre and have a lovely country style one in a traditional way and the other with a more contemporary edge. Lovely planting ideas, a warm welcome and delicious home made teas await your visit.

Chainhurst cottage gardens

Satnav postcode: TN12 9SU

Sat 11, Sun 12 June (2-5.30)

Combined adm 4.50, chd free

The National Gardens Scheme

Chiddingstone garden tour

It will be the 27th anniversary of this event, with 9 lovely country gardens to explore. There is a wide variety to view, including cottage planting, a Victorian style potager and gardens surrounding historic barns. This is a great opportunity to visit gardens rarely open to the public. Kentish cream teas at two of the gardens and tickets will be available from the Chiddingstone Village and Causeway Stores. All proceeds to the Chiddingstone churches.

Chiddingstone tour

Satnav postcode: TN8 7AH

Sun 12 June (2-6)

Combined adm 6, chd free

Halstead open gardens

Organised by the local horticultural society, eleven gardens will be open, raising money for Cancer Research UK and St Margarets church, Halstead. It was here that Edith Nesbit wrote The Railway Children and the garden of her old house will be open. There will also be an art exhibition with sale of paintings, a plant sale on the green and tours of St Margarets church.

Halstead open gardens

Satnav postcode: TN14 7HQ

Sun 5 June (10.30-5)

Combined adm 7, chd free

Herne and Broomfield Garden Safari

Probably the largest open garden day in Kent say the organisers. There will a range of gardens to see - from tiny to rambling country properties, some will be serving refreshments or lunches. Proceeds will be going to local charities and community projects.

Start at Herne Mill

Satnav postcode: CT6 7DR

Sun 12 June (10-5)

Combined adm 3, chd free

Knockholt Horticultural Society open gardens

Six gardens, the village allotments and managed woodland will be open to enjoy while raising money for the Harris Hospice. The gardens vary in size and style, teas will be served at two of the gardens at either end of the village and the Harrow pub is putting on a special fathers day menu. One is probably the smallest garden in the whole world with a pocket-sized garden that shows just what you can do in the tiniest of spaces and the gardens are all in walking distance and range to larger country gardens. Our garden is around an eighth of an acre in the middle of the village and was the old post office. Opening gives me great focus to work hard to make the garden beautiful for the middle of June and it is a bonus to have people come and enjoy the garden as well, comments Juliet Peters, one of the enthusiastic owners who will warmly welcome you to their gardens.


Satnav postcode: TN14

Sun 19 June (12-4)

Combined adm 5

Minster-in-Thanet open gardens

A variety of gardens will be open with plenty of opportunities to buy plants and enjoy refreshments. Tickets available from the gardens, the recreation car park and the Old Schools.


Satnav postcode: CT12 4AB

Sat 18, Sun 19 June (10-5)

Adm 3

St Nicholas-at-Wade open gardens

The open garden weekend is again expected to attract around a thousand people over the two days, raising an estimated 10,000 for the church maintenance and rebuilding fund. The church itself houses a flower festival and art show with music being played, whilst fourteen gardens of varying size and interest are open around the village, as well as the special underground Chapel at St Nicholas Court. Most of the gardens have a stall with plants, cakes, books and jewellery being on sale. Gardeners lunches will be at The Old Kent Barn and cream teas served at Ambry Court, explains Chairman Roger Hobcraft.

St Nicholas-at-Wade

Satnav postcode: CT7 0NH

Sat 4, Sun 5 June (10.30-5)

Combined adm 3

Shipbourne gardens

Opening with the NGS for the first time, five different sized gardens can be visited in this picturesque village that also has a large wildflower meadow in June on one of the largest greens in Kent. The village is predominantly a conservation area and centre of the popular Greensand Way. Two of the gardens are in the middle of the village green, the others a short drive away.

Shipbourne gardens

Satnav postcode: TN11 9PL

Sat 18, Sun 19 June (11-5)

Combined adm 5, chd free

The National Gardens Scheme

West Malling gardens

You have two opportunities to discover the hidden gardens in this attractive market town. The first opening on the 5th sees seven gardens open and the second on the 12th, will have three. Walled gardens, tumbling roses, formal box hedges and pretty borders to inspire ideas.

West Malling

Satnav postcode: ME19 6NE

Sun 5 June (12-6)

Sun 12 June (12-6)

Combined adm 5, chd free

The National Gardens Scheme

Wye gardens

Four unusual gardens all in walking distance of each other in the historic village of Wye are open through the National Gardens Scheme on Sunday 19th June in the afternoon. I think it is not enough to see one quite small garden so to make it worthwhile coming to Wye there are four small but contrasting gardens. New for this year is Yew Trees and the other 3 are as eccentric as ever. People who come are mostly fairly local from East Kent and enjoy a stroll around the village from one to another and the teas in the church are very popular, explains Francis Huntington from one of the open gardens, Cumberland Court - a real treat as he and wife Lucy are renowned garden designers and a great source of knowledge for garden lovers.

Wye Gardens

Satnav postcode: TN25 5BJ

Sunday 19 June (2-6)

Combined adm 4.50, chd free

The National Gardens Scheme

Something extra

Inspired by garden visiting to try something new in your garden?

Last years Kent Life Garden Competition winners, Cherith and Richard Bourne, are holding a new series of willow weaving workshops with Alan Sage at their delightful garden Wickham Lodge, Aylesford ME20 7AY


Friday 3 June Willow and Wattle Hurdles

Sat 23 July Willow Sculpture

Sat 6 Aug Rush Weaving

Sat 3 Sept Willow platters and other small items

Plant of the month


clump-forming perennial

delicate pincushion star-shaped flowers in white, red and pink

flowers held above foliage on strong stems

Growing notes


sun or part shade

moist, fertile soil

tolerate drier soils if mulched

remove faded flowers if you dont want them to self-seed

divide in spring

Ornamental tasks

keep the floral abundance going by watering wisely, feeding and deadheading spent blooms

last chance to add summer bedding

once irises finish flowering lift and divide congested clumps

divide large clumps of primulas and replant

take cuttings of pelargoniums, coleus and fuchsias

To taste

harvest salads, strawberries and broad beans

keep an eye out for pests, net soft fruit

sow French and runner beans, carrots, cauliflower, marrows, peas, cucumbers, sweet corn, beetroot, broccoli and lettuce

thin out seedlings to ensure they reach full potential

keep weeding, tie in canes of raspberries and blackberries


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