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Great Comp Garden Spring Fling plant fair

By Angela Cole

There’s a spring fling happening in a Kent garden this weekend.

Great Comp Garden near Borough Green’s first event of the open season on Sunday, April 14 is a chance to buy rare and unusual plants.

For the first time in the event’s history, independent nurseries offering their wares will greet visitors at the gate.

Magnolia at Great Comp Garden
Magnolia at Great Comp Garden

The exhibitors will take centre stage in front of the 17th century manor house, displaying flowering trees and plants on the front lawn.

This year, the exhibitors come from across the South East and include several Royal Horticultural Society medal-winning specialists such as Invicta Herbs, Hedgehog Plants, Potash Farm, Rose Cottage Plants, Swallowfields Nursery and Cranbrook Iron.

The garden was created by the late Roderick (Eric) and Joy Cameron who moved to the 17th Century manor house in 1957 with the idea of developing the garden into a plantsman’s delight.

Fans of the spring flowering tree, Roderick and Joy planted magnolias, azaleas and rhododendrons throughout the garden creating the woodland pathways enjoyed by visitors 50 years later.

Great Comp Garden’s spring collection is a veritable catwalk to the magnolia with more than 80 magnolias from 53 different varieties.

Spring at Great Comp Garden
Spring at Great Comp Garden

In recent years, curator William Dyson has added to the collection with rare varieties such as Kevin Hughes.

He said: “We have been told that we are one of the finest spring gardens in the county. This is in part due to the marvellous magnolias. These low-maintenance plants should be more widely planted. Once established, they are fairly drought-tolerant.”

Last week the garden received £58,300 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for its Ensuring the Future project.

Led by the Great Comp Charitable Trust and William Dyson, the project will focus on ensuring the future of the seven-acre garden in Platt. Part of the funding will allow the garden to engage a team to research the historical importance of the 17th century manor house.

DETAILS

The Spring Fling Plant Fair will be on Sunday, April 14, between 11am and 5pm at Great Comp Garden Comp Lane, Platt.

For more information call 01732 885094 or visit greatcompgarden.co.uk

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