Chelsea Flower Show
May 22-30th, 2007


May 26th, Saturday Emmetts Garden and Great Comp Gardens

Today we headed out of London to Kent. The Heart of Kent has more than its fair share of the most impressive gardens in Kent, and certainly lives up to county's reputation as the 'Garden of England'. We visited two very unique gardens. Emmetts charming and informal 6-acre garden and arboretum stands on one of the highest spots in Kent offering panoramic views over the Weald and towards the North Downs. It was featured in the 1985 film, 'Room with a View' In spring the woodland slopes are carpeted with bluebells, followed by a magnificent display of rhododendrons and Ghent azaleas with their green backdrop and flaming torches in shades of orange and carmine, magenta and cerise. The garden, created by Frederic Lubbock between 1890-1927, boasts a 100ft Wellingtonia that survived the Great Storm of 1987, when many other mature trees were lost. This disaster, however, brought more light to the garden which has taken on a new lease of life in recent years. Influenced by William Robinson, the garden was laid out in the late 19th century with many exotic and rare trees and shrubs from across the world. The Rock Garden includes a lily pond and a small waterfall. The garden is made up of groundcover plants among blocks of Westmoreland Limestone.

Then it’s off to visit another gem – Great Comp Garden. We enjoyed Tea here before our visit. A garden of 7 acres, Great Comp contains many beautiful and rare shrubs, perennials and other hardy and half hardy plants. It is a plantsman's haven, with the year starting off with Helleborus, followed by Magnolias, Rhododendrons and Azaleas; then through the remainder of the year with rare and exotic shrubs and perennial plants - such as the huge collection of Salvias. There are substantial areas of both formal and informal plantings - teasingly linked with meandering grass paths and home built ruins - homing in on an Italian Garden! The garden has been built over the last 40 years by Eric Cameron. William Dyson (who you see in the photo chatting to us about his passion) - Curator of the Garden and owner of the Nursery - is rapidly becoming known for his award winning collections of Salvias, especially 'New World' species & cultivars. Of note too were his collection of irises…they were stunning. The nursery often displays at many plant fairs, including the Hampton Court Flower Show. There are also many ruins for your enjoyment.







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