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Gardens opening for the National Gardens Scheme including Doddington Place in Sittingbourne and in Penshurst, Yalding, Oare and Westerham

The National Gardens Scheme was forced to turn to virtual visits during lockdown, but now with restrictions eased and the knowledge that the outdoors is safer, new life has been breathed into the scheme as some gardens begin to open for the annual fundraising foray into florals and foliage.

The scheme raises funds for the Help Support Our Nurses campaign, one which has been a worthy cause since 1980 when it was started but now feels more timely than ever. Visitors need to pre-purchase tickets on the website to get a timed slot for their garden of choice.

The gardens at Doddington Place Picture: Alan Langley
The gardens at Doddington Place Picture: Alan Langley

Here’s some of the latest delights to feast your senses on...

Alderwood, Penshurst

The 14 acres of recently restored formal gardens, have parkland, woodland and a large walled garden. Originally part of The Redleaf estate, the gardens were featured in JC Loudon’s Garden Magazine in 1833. Sumptuous planting includes delphiniums, nepeta, artichokes and roses, as well as a formal pond. The 18th century walled garden has a wild flower meadow, pergolas and vibrant planting.

It is open on Friday, June 26 from 10.30am to 5pm and also on Saturday, June 27 from 10.30am to 5pm.

Doddington Place, Sittingbourne

The 10 acre garden of the gothic folly has wide views; trees and cloud clipped yew hedges; a woodland garden with azaleas and rhododendrons; an Edwardian rock garden, a formal garden with mixed borders.

It is open on Sunday, June 28 from 10am to 5pm and on Wednesday, July 1 from 10am to 5pm.

You can visit Doddington Place gardens if you book ahead Picture: Alan Langley
You can visit Doddington Place gardens if you book ahead Picture: Alan Langley

Parsonage Oasts, Yalding

The garden on the bank of the River Medway is now looked after by the grandchildren of its creator. It has crown imperials, shrubs, and a spectacular magnolia.

It is open on Wednesday July 1 from 11am to 5.30pm and again on Wednesday, July 8.

Parsonage Oast's garden will be open to those who book ahead Picture: Andy Jones
Parsonage Oast's garden will be open to those who book ahead Picture: Andy Jones

Pheasant Barn, Oare

The series of smallish gardens around award-winning converted farm buildings overlook Oare Creek. The main area is nectar-rich planting in formal design with a contemporary twist inspired by the local landscape and the Kent Wildlife Trust Oare Marshes Bird Reserve are just a mile away. Open on Friday, June 26 from 11am to 4.30pm; Tuesday, June 30 from 11am to 4.30pm and Wednesday, July 1 from 11am to 4.30pm.

You could visit Pheasant Barn at Oare if you book online
You could visit Pheasant Barn at Oare if you book online

Eureka, Westerham Hill

The one acre garden has colourful displays in perennial borders and eight cartwheel centre beds pus a 12ft dragon sculpture, 1 horses’s head carved out of a 200-year-old yew tree stump and a 10ft dragonfly on a reed.

It is open on Saturday, June 27 from 11am to 4pm and on Sunday, June 28 from 11am to 4pm.

Details

The National Gardens Scheme runs from April through to the end of the summer each year. To see virtual tours, find a garden near you and book a ticket, which costs from £5 for adults, go to ngs.org.uk

Where to see the UK's largest lavender farm here in Kent

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