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Borough Green: Great Comp Garden holds its Summer Show, the biggest event in its calendar

By Angela Cole

Timed to coincide with the peak of the year’s colour, Great Comp Garden’s annual summer show will bring more than 40 exhibitors to the small garden this weekend.

Its biggest event of the year, the summer show will feature something for all the senses with quirky and unusual plants, plus crafts, artists, music and food.

Great Comp curator William Dyson has put together a series of exhibitors specialising in everything from hardy perennials to carnivorous plants.

The summer show is Great Comp Gardens' biggest event of the year
The summer show is Great Comp Gardens' biggest event of the year

The Kent group of the Hardy Plant Society will also be helping their parent organisation the HPS celebrate its 60th birthday. William, well known in the horticultural world for his salvias, said: “The salvia is the plant that has shaped the gardener I am today and it’s fair to say that I have the most varied collection in Europe.

Great Comp Gardens near Borough Green holds its Summer Show this weekend
Great Comp Gardens near Borough Green holds its Summer Show this weekend

“I am drawn to the Mexican shrubby variety – these wonderful plants, particularly the New World species, are more versatile than people realise, they bring excitement to the garden and bees love the nectar they produce.” Among the exhibitors is RHS Chelsea and RHS Hampton Court gold medal winning nursery Heucheraholics run by Julie Burton who will be bringing between 50 and 60 varieties of the unusual plant.

She said: “Heucheras were a big hobby for me which grew into a giant obsession. They are fantastic plants.”

The show will feature live jazz band Strings n’ Things playing on the lawn, with Pimm’s being served. The Old Dairy Tearooms will be serving lunches, teas and homemade cakes throughout the day.

Strings n' Things will play at Great Comp Gardens' Summer Show
Strings n' Things will play at Great Comp Gardens' Summer Show

DETAILS

The two-day Great Comp Summer Show will be on Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13.

Entry prices are £8, children between six and 17 £3, with under fives going free. For more details go to greatcompgarden.co.uk

THE LINE-UP

A seven-acre haven tucked away near Borough Green, Great Comp’s summer show gives visitors the chance to glimpse some rare and unusual medal-winning plants.

This year’s show line-up reads like a roll call of RHS medal winners with Madrona Nursery (silver gilt at RHS Hampton Court 2017), lined up beside PlantBase (medal winner at both RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court this year), Dyson’s Salvias (silver gilt at RHS Hampton Court 2017) and Hampshire’s very own Heucheraholics (gold medal at RHS Hampton Court 2017).

Graham Blunt, owner of Plantbase, near Lamberhurst, will be bringing his exotic jungle plants. He said: “We’ve noticed that the professionals are going to rare plant fairs more of late – they just want to buy great plants.”

Some of his plants can also be seen growing in the Italian Garden at Great Comp.
Also invited are Madrona Nursery from Bethesden – RHS Hampton Court stalwarts – offering unusual and interesting plants.

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