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Malling: Great Comp Garden Summer Show marks garden's 50th anniversary

Great Comp Garden's annual Summer Show has an extra glow this year.

To mark its 50th anniversary, a new Golden Border will be unveiled at the garden in Platt near Borough Green, to celebrate - and it features golden plants, plus specimens planted and favoured by the garden’s creator Eric Cameron.

Since Eric and his wife Joy first threw open their garden gate, the garden has gained a reputation among horticulturalists and garden enthusiasts alike as one of Kent’s finest gardens to explore.

Great Comp Garden Summer Show
Great Comp Garden Summer Show

Curator, William Dyson said: “Eric and Joy's enthusiasm and hard work helped to produce a fantastically diverse garden which lives on in the minds of those who visit it today.”

The border on the Crescent Lawn will feature gold, bronze and yellow planting including plants such as Solidago (Golden baby), Argyranthemum (Cornish gold), Achillea (Coronation gold), Pleioblastus viridistriatus – a golden bamboo and Salvia Lemon light.

Also during the weekend, will be the chance to hear from an intrepid modern day plant explorer.

The only British survivor from the MS Estonia shipwreck, Paul Barney, will be talking Shipwrecks, Bombs and Bugles.

Some of plant explorer Paul Barney's far-flung travels
Some of plant explorer Paul Barney's far-flung travels

Paul set up Edulis Nursery more than 25 years ago to grow unusual edibles for permaculture and forest gardens.

In 1994, he survived one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century as the only British survivor of the MS Estonia sinking - the second deadliest European shipwreck disaster during peacetime apart from the sinking of the Titanic.

His love of adventure and horticulture has taken him to 60 countries and gathered some 4,000 plants. "I love to see plants in their natural habitat. It helps to understand how they grow and where they are best grown in the garden."

Great Comp Summer Show will mark 50 years of the garden opening
Great Comp Summer Show will mark 50 years of the garden opening

His lecture will be in the newly-refurbished Stables Theatre at Great Comp at 2pm on the Saturday.

Among the 40 some exhibitors attending over the weekend will be Denys & Fielding, designers of horti-inspired double deck chairs. The women behind the brand, Liz and Cat, from Maidstone, said: “We blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living."

The ancient art of woodturning will also live on with artisan David Jones, who has been woodturning for almost 55 years, and will be demonstrating and talking about his work.


Great Comp Garden's Summer Show, with 40 exhibitors, will be on Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12, between 11am and 5pm. Find the garden in Comp Lane, Sevenoaks, TN15 8QS, or call 01732 885094. For details and entry costs visit greatcompgarden.co.uk

Tickets to Paul Barney's talk in the 73-seater theatre cost £8. To book, go to greatcompgarden.co.uk/product/lecture-by-paul-barney-edulis/

Plant explorer Paul Barney will be at the Great Comp Summer Show(3451047)
Plant explorer Paul Barney will be at the Great Comp Summer Show(3451047)

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