Sandling Park Open Garden 2015

The chance to view the extraordinary collection of rhododendrons and azaleas built up by the Hardy family at Sandling Park in Kent is one of the highlights of my May. I adore these acid loving shrubs, especially as I have neither the space nor the soil conditions to cultivate them. At Sandling, sheltered in a shallow valley deep with […]

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Saltwood Castle NSPCC Plant Fair 2015

Driving south to the pretty village of Saltwood for the annual NSPCC plant fair has become something of a tradition in our household. Even Him Indoors looks forward to going, or at least pretends to. We have both been poorly this week – Him Indoors with a cold and me with tonsilitis – but after a recuperative lie-in we […]

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Great Balls of Fire – Sandling Park in May

There was such an extraordinary amount going on in May that I am now working through a draft post pile-up. In contrast to the scarcity of blogging fodder during the winter months, early summer offers incredibly bounty. I find myself spoilt for choice and with a backlog of fine subjects to share. Now that June is […]

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Kentish Belles

Over the next couple of weekends, two of Kent’s most beautiful and enigmatic gardens will be opening their gates to the curious public. Both reveal their secrets on just one day each year, so are a must if you are in the county and love to visit special places. Kurume azaleas at Sandling Park The first of our Kentish Belles is […]

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Sandling Park Open Day 2014

Spring 2013 arrived fashionably late. This was convenient for us, as we’d been travelling in Bhutan during the prime time for camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas at home. One of the highlights on our return was a visit to Sandling Park, Kent, which opens just once a year in aid of Pilgrim’s Hospices.   Sandling’s gardens […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Darmera peltata

In late spring the soft pink flowers of Darmera peltata emerge before the leaves, held high above the ground on stems up to 1.5m tall. This vigorous perennial then produces rounded leaves up to 60cm diameter. In autumn the foliage turns a rich red before dying down for the winter. A great plant for streamsides […]

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A Spring Spectrum – Sandling Park, Kent

There are those that frown upon the lusty delights of rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas. I am not one of them. I expect these naysayers are the same folk who dislike orchids, with their similar flambuoyance and tendencies towards artifice. Yes, rhododendrons are big, bold and brazen, but they offer up colour aplenty in saturated hues […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Hosta fortunei var. albopicta f. aurea

My next post on Sandling Park is proving to be quite epic in its scope, so whilst I work on it I’m staying closer to home and sharing the sunny delights of Hosta fortunei var. albopicta f. aurea, the golden fortune plantain lily. As hosta names go, both the latin and the common ones are […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Erythronium ‘Pagoda’

Dog’s tooth violets, toad lilies, call them what you will, starry flowered erythroniums lend a touch of the exotic to spring meadows and woodlands. Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ is one of the very best hybrids, each stem carrying up to 10 nodding yellow flowers hovering above equally attractive marbled foliage. This is a vigorous bulbous plant which […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Double-Flowered Azaleas

Normally, I’d say two doses of Daily Flower Candy in one day would be bad for one’s health, but I couldn’t go to bed without sharing at least one of the sugary delights from today’s visit to Sandling Park. The display of rhododendrons, magnolias and azaleas was absolutely stunning, the late spring sunshine bringing everything […]

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