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Six of the best National Garden Scheme gardens in Kent to visit this May in celebration of National Gardening Week


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Today marks the start of National Gardening Week and, to celebrate, we’ve got six beautiful National Garden Scheme gardens that open this month…

The wisteria tunnel is a highlight of the gardens at Boughton Monchelsea Place. Picture: National Garden Scheme
The wisteria tunnel is a highlight of the gardens at Boughton Monchelsea Place. Picture: National Garden Scheme

Boughton Monchelsea Place, Maidstone

Stroll through these romantic gardens, hidden just outside of the county town, and enjoy a delightful day out with someone special. Duck under the tunnel of flowering wisteria, revel in the peace and quiet of the walled gardens and soak up the sights and smells of the courtyard herb garden and orchard. When the weather is just right, you can also take in spectacular views over the nearby deer park and the Weald.

Open day: Sunday, May 8 from 2pm to 5.30pm

Address: Boughton Monchelsea Place, Boughton Monchelsea, Maidstone, ME17 4BU

To find out more, including prices and online booking, click here.

Frith Old Farm House in Faversham lets its flowers grow wildly and features many unique plants. Picture: Leigh Clapp
Frith Old Farm House in Faversham lets its flowers grow wildly and features many unique plants. Picture: Leigh Clapp

Frith Old Farm House, Faversham

If you’re looking to spruce up your own garden, a walk around this Faversham garden is well worth it. As you meander through the garden, which has been featured in several national garden magazines, you will meet lots of knowledgeable and friendly experts who will talk you through the unusual shrubs, trees and wildflowers growing around you and guide you through the garden’s plant sale. Many of the flowers here come to life in May, such as the self-seeded trilliums, species peonies, fringed and bamboo irises, Sicilian honey garlic, the Chile lantern tree and a fuschia-flowered gooseberry, so this is a great time to visit.

Open days: Sunday, May 8 and Sunday, May 22 from 11am to 4:30pm

Address: Frith Old Farm House, Frith Road, Otterden, Faversham, ME13 0DD

To find out more, including prices and online booking, click here.

The gardens at Great Maytham Hall are famous for inspiring the novel the Secret Garden. Picture: National Garden Scheme
The gardens at Great Maytham Hall are famous for inspiring the novel the Secret Garden. Picture: National Garden Scheme

Great Maytham Hall, Tenterden

With tumbling wisteria, formal gardens and white and pink roses, it’s no surprise that this garden inspired one of the best-loved novels in British history. Frances Hodgson Burnett was inspired to write the Secret Garden after renting the house in 1898 and seeing an overgrown garden through an iron gate. The original secret gate was, sadly, bricked up in 1910, but the new black iron gate still has the same charm that inspired the timeless tale.

Open day: Wednesday, May 25 from 1pm to 4pm

Address: Great Maytham Hall, Maytham Road, Rolvenden, Tenterden, TN17 4NE

To find out more, including prices and online booking, click here.

Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner Jo Thompson worked on the gardens at Ladham House in Tunbridge Wells. Picture: Helen Harrison
Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner Jo Thompson worked on the gardens at Ladham House in Tunbridge Wells. Picture: Helen Harrison

Ladham House, Tunbridge Wells

Admire the impressive designs by Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner Jo Thompson at this 10-acre garden. Her 60m twin border, filled with vibrant plants, is quite the sight, not to mention the rose garden, sunken rockery, ponds, vegetable garden and woodland walk that also call this garden home. Wander through the trees, shrubs, rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas and magnolias and, for something a little different, you can also take a look around the small classic car show that will be on display.

Open day: Sunday, May 15 from 2pm to 5pm

Address: Ladham House, Ladham Road, Goudhurst, TN17 1DB

To find out more, including prices and online booking, click here.

Find new plants and flowers to inspire your own gardening hobbies at Oak Cottage and Swallowfields Nursery. Picture: National Garden Scheme
Find new plants and flowers to inspire your own gardening hobbies at Oak Cottage and Swallowfields Nursery. Picture: National Garden Scheme

Oak Cottage and Swallowfields Nursery, Ashford

This small but special garden is an unknown gem. The half-acre cottage garden is in the heart of the countryside surrounded by nature and wildlife. In the garden itself, you’ll find lots of unique perennial plants, including a range of salvias, and a specialist nursery with herbaceous perennials. If you want inspiration on how to make your own garden stand out from the crowd, this is the perfect place to visit.

Open days: Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28 from 11am to 4pm

Address: Oak Cottage and Swallowfields Nursery, Elmsted, Ashford, TN25 5JT

To find out more, including prices and online booking, click here.

The picturesque gardens at Vergers in Hythe can be found next to St Leonard’s Church. Picture: National Garden Scheme
The picturesque gardens at Vergers in Hythe can be found next to St Leonard’s Church. Picture: National Garden Scheme

Vergers, Hythe

This seaside garden pop-up is a rare chance to explore the land beside St Leonard’s Church. The land, which has been reclaimed and developed over the past five years, features narrow, winding paths, beautiful planting and secret places to take a seat away from the hustle and bustle. Pull up a chair, enjoy the views and perhaps even treat yourself to a cream tea from inside the church.

Open days: Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29 from 2pm to 5pm

Address: Vergers, Church Road, Hythe, CT21 5DP

To find out more, including prices and online booking, click here.

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