The Watch House NGS Open Weekend 2019

And relax! After several weeks of intensive preparation, another National Gardens Scheme open weekend lies behind us. Rather like Christmas there’s an almighty build-up and then the event itself is over in the blink of an eyelid. In total we welcomed 440 visitors to The Watch House and raised just over £2000 for NGS charities. […]

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National Garden Scheme Snowdrop Festival 2019

Galanthophiles rejoice, snowdrop season is upon us once again. In recent years snowdrop appreciation has become a mainstream activity with hundreds of gardens throwing wide their gates outside of normal opening times to welcome eager visitors. Thus we are not only permitted to gaze upon spangled carpets of white blossom, but also to enjoy familiar […]

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The Final Countdown

Twenty days to go and the countdown to my NGS garden open weekend is well underway. In truth the garden does not need another twenty days to look its best; it’s there already. I am mildly concerned that it will peak too soon, but there’s no holding it back now. Recent weather has been exceptional, […]

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Reflections on a Busy Week

What a rollercoaster ride last week was. It began with visits to two very fine private gardens, open by appointment for the National Garden Scheme, and ended with a frantic day of potting up and bedding out in my own garden at The Watch House. In between came the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show in Derbyshire and […]

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Open for the National Garden Scheme: Denne Manor Farm

  I’m taking a short break from my Chelsea reporting to bring you news of a superb new garden opening for the National Garden Scheme here in Kent this weekend. I visited Denne Manor Farm back in late April on what can politely be described as an unseasonably cold and dreary Sunday. Being partially urbanised […]

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Watergate House, Fordwich: A Modern Romantic Garden

The town of Fordwich has the distinction of being the smallest in England. Situated on the River Stour, which connects Canterbury with the English Channel, it was to Fordwich that the Normans shipped tonnes of pale Caen stone to build the city’s cathedral. At Watergate House the precious cargo arrived safely on English soil after […]

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34 Cross Road, Walmer: A Garden For All Senses

Living and gardening by the coast, I find my senses become attuned to a very specific set of sensations: the sound of seagulls, restless wind and tourists dispossessed of their volume control; the smell of seaweed and fish and chips; the feel of salt in my hair and sun on my cheeks. So when I […]

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