It’s July and summer starts here! A great time to get out and about exploring Kent through visiting beautiful gardens open for the National Garden Scheme
Open gardens in July include places where you can see community gardening in action, wander within a gorgeous wildflower meadow, enjoy a wildlife town garden, get lost amidst the big leaves of exotic gardens, find a treasure trail for children, as well as explore a Kent village. Please find details of these gardens below. There are so many different types of Kent gardens open for the National Garden Scheme, all raising money for our much loved nursing, health and gardening charities. To see all gardens open this month, please click here: July open gardens
Garden admission is mainly FREE for children or for a small fee, and many offer home-made teas at very reasonable prices, so it makes for a great trip out for all the family. Some gardens allow dogs on leads as well. Please visit the website for full details: Kent NGS open gardens
Here are a few of our July Open Gardens
- Eureka at Westerham Hill is a 1-acre garden full of colour and garden art, including a 10ft red dragon! There are eight cartwheel centre beds, chickens, lots of seating and stairs to a viewing platform. Many quirky surprises at every turn, with 100s of annuals in tubs and baskets, a David Austin shrub rose border and a free Treasure Trail with prizes for all children. Open on several weekends over the summer holidays, 11 – 4. Home-made teas will be served. Adult: £5, Child: Free. Wheelchair access to most of the garden.
- The Garden Gate in Margate’s Northdown Park is a community garden growing a mixture of plants, flowers and vegetables using organic methods. The garden is run as an independent charity supporting adults with learning disabilities and/or mental health and best described as an ornamental vegetable garden. There is also a wildlife pond, two polytunnels, a shade house, some coppiced woodland and a green roof on one of the buildings. Northdown House opposite has an attractive garden open free to the public and it is possible to walk through the park to the sandy beaches at Botany Bay and Palm Bay. Open Saturday 1 July, 2 – 5. Adult: £5, Child: Free. Light refreshments. inc wood fired pizzas with toppings from the garden. Dog friendly. Plants for sale. Accessibility: The garden is flat and on one level with grass or wood chip paths.
- Gravesend Garden for Wildlife featured on BBC ‘Gardeners’ World’ last year and is a great garden to spot bees and butterflies. It also has 3 ponds visited by amphibians, dragonflies and birds. Vegetables are grown here too, and it all shows what can be grown in a small garden to encourage wildlife. Judith has photos in the garden shed that show the huge range of wildlife that visit her wonderful town garden. Open on Sunday 2 July, 12 – 5. Home-made teas will be available, and plants for sale. £5 for adults, free for children. You can also arrange a bespoke visit By Arrangement, for groups between 1 to 20. Due to steep steps and uneven paths there is no wheelchair access to the garden.
- A small village group of gardens will be open in Bidborough near Tunbridge Wells, where three gardens take you around a village with its pub, church, village store and primary school. You only pay one admission price to see all three gardens. ‘Sheerdrop’ has had the more formal part of its garden designed by Roger Platt, with wonderful views down the valley. Home-made teas can be found at ‘Boundes End’, which has both a formal upper garden and a lower woodland garden. ‘4 The Crescent’ is a new garden and in the process of being transformed into a relaxed cottage garden. Open Sunday 2 July, 1 – 5. Adult £6, Child: Free. Home-made teas. Dogs on leads allowed. Plants for sale. Partial wheelchair access, some gardens have steps.
- Pheasant Barn overlooking Oare Creek near Faversham has a large wildflower meadow to explore which is full of buzzing pollinators, as well as the beautifully designed formal gardens closer to the house. Down by the creek you’ll also find a labyrinth to walk around. Open on several dates, 11 – 4. Pre-booking through the website is essential as visitor numbers are limited because of parking. No teas, but two village inns are close by serving lunches. Kent Wildlife Trust Oare Marshes Bird Reserve is at the end of the road. Dog friendly. £7 for adults, Child: Free. This garden also opens By Arrangement in July for groups of between 1 and 20.
Three Exotic Gardens
- Sweetbriar in Ash is an average sized back garden that has been transformed into an exotic jungle paradise full of fabulous foliage and gorgeous flowers. A real plantsman’s collection of many rare hardy and tender exotics to transport you into a lawn free tropical oasis. It has been designed by owners Steve Edney and Louise Dowle, multi gold medal winners at RHS Chelsea and Hampton court flower shows, and has been featured on BBC Gardener’s World. Open Sunday 9 July, 10.30 to 4.30, as well as dates in August and September. Home-made teas. Plants for sale. Adult £5, Child: Free. Not suitable for wheelchairs or buggies.
- 50 Pine Avenue in Gravesend has tropical plants around the swimming pool where you can sit and enjoy home-made teas. Then wonder through bamboo and exotic planting to where steps take you down to a completely different part of the garden – a cool shaded woodland with its tranquil pond. Open Saturday 15 July, 11 – 4. Adult £5, Child: Free. Light refreshments and dogs on leads are welcome.
- The Watch House in Broadstairs has two exquisite small courtyard gardens that adjoin an historic fisherman’s cottage. The east-facing garden was designed for entertaining so has an outdoor kitchen and slate courtyard surrounded by lush foliage and tender exotics. The west-facing courtyard is arranged around a small greenhouse, where a garden room leads onto a terrace packed with flowering plants that jostle for space. The Watch House has been featured in many publications as well as on BBC Gardeners’ World. Open Saturday 29 July & Sunday 20 July, 12 – 4. Adults £5, Child: Free. No teas, but Broadstairs and its beautiful beaches are on the doorstep, along with Morelli’s wonderful ice-cream parlour.
Please visit the website to search for a garden open near to you: Kent NGS open gardens
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