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Borough Green: Great Comp Gardens holds its Autumn Extravaganza with rare salvias irises and unusual plants

By Angela Cole

If you’re looking for a splash of autumn colour, Great Comp Garden, near Borough Green, is the place to head this weekend.

The annual two-day Autumn Extravaganza is on Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15.

This year the seven-acre garden will place emphasis on gardens and garden ornamentation, with local artisan food producers and craft people also featured.

Great Comp garden
Great Comp garden

It is also home to the Dyson Salvia collection, which is now in full bloom.

Visitors can also enjoy the site’s collection of trees which surround the more formal gardens and can all be viewed if you turn in a 360 degree circle.

Curator William Dyson said: “We can look forward to colour this year from cercidyphyllum, quercus, liquidamber, nyssa and our Ginkgo.”

Exhibitors include Edulis Plants, Hedgehog Plants & Gardens, Madrona Nursery, Invicta Herbs, Usual & Unusual Plants, Kevin Hughes Plants, Rose Cottage Plants, Pelham Plants and Dyson’s Nurseries.

The RSPB and Kent Wildlife Trust will also have stands and local fine artists will also display their work.

Feeling peckish? There will be Kentish cobnuts on sale from Potash Farm and visitors can also head to the tea rooms for delicious homemade cakes.

The Sea Breeze iris at Great Comp
The Sea Breeze iris at Great Comp


Great Comp Garden’s Autumn Extravaganza will be held on Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15, between 11am and 5pm both days. Normal entrance fees apply with a 20% day entry discount to RHS members. For more details visit greatcompgarden.co.uk


Anne and her husband Jack have run their specialist bulb nursery and mail order business Rose Cottage Plants from their base in Essex for more than 25 years.

Tending their new garden, they decided to fill it with interesting and unusual plants – and would have to grow the plants themselves. Their passion for bulbs meant that they were able to source new and unusual finds and share them with fellow gardeners. Today, with a thriving business they regularly travel to Holland to meet growers to view what’s hot and what’s not in the bulb world.

Anne said: “We like to meet the growers and see what they have planned for the next couple of years. We have to wait to get hold of the bulbs but when they come out we are first in the queue to get them!”

Great Comp Gardens' Autumn Extravaganza near Borough Green will include some unusual irises
Great Comp Gardens' Autumn Extravaganza near Borough Green will include some unusual irises

Irises, crocuses, narcissus and tulips are among the flowers stocked by the pair in their dahlia collection, which was recently displayed at Wisley.

Anne plans to bring some of her dahlias to Great Comp as well as nerines and amarines.
She said: “The people in Kent know their plants and know where to come for interesting and unusual varieties, which makes the Great Comp show a great event for us as nurserymen and women.”

She will bring a full range of irises to the autumn extravaganza, as it’s the perfect time to buy and plant your bulbs, including your daffodils and tulips.

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