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Kent Alpine Gardener's Diary

This entry: 28 June 2016 by Tim Ingram


Good day on Sunday - the Faversham Society sold over a thousand tickets for the Open Gardens and raised around £5000. These are a few pictures of the stalls. In order: David Simmons, a local farmer and town (& district) councillor, who is also Chairman of the Faversham Markets Co-operative (very highly respected in the town for his integrity and strength of mind dealing with difficult issues); the regular Market Plant Stall under the Guildhall in the town; ourselves with alpines - quite a bit of interest which is encouraging, does seem to be a growing awareness again of these plants and their diversity; the Abbey Physic Community Garden - close to my heart because it is a garden my mother was strongly involved in proposing and creating for the benefit of the disadvantaged and people who have been hurt by life in different ways; and 'Mighty Fine Things' - Katy Cox (and her partner and young baby!), one of the prime movers of the 'Best of Faversham' Market and the general market in the town.

And a few pictures taken from around six of the gardens that were open and I managed to see (out of 38 in total). Most of these are in Abbey Street, close to the Market Square, which has some of the oldest and most original houses in the town, and runs down to the creek and warehousing dating from the time that Faversham was an important trading port on the Thames supplying produce to London (a reason why the town is one of the very few with a copy of the Magna Carta).

What is so fascinating about a day like this is the variety of different gardens, and most are extremely small. This first for example was a walled rectangle mostly allowed to develop as a summer meadow...


Close by is the smallest of courtyards planted almost entirely for foliage. Examples of using bold foliage in a small place.

Quite a surprise to see a thriving tree fern in one of the gardens, though curiously less of other 'botanical' interest that you might think would complement such a striking plant. The advantage of small gardens of course is an ability to give more TLC to specimen plants like this.

Just a very nice clump of a strong growing 'pink' - looks very like the famous variety 'Doris' - excellent cut flower.

Phygelius and Yucca.

A couple of photos taken in one of the poorer parts of the town but where the back gardens overlook the Grammar School playing fields and have a small stream running through them. These were three or four inter-linked gardens that you walked through one to the other. Secluded and rather nice.


Most of the houses in Abbey Street are terraced but part way along is this more open square, and behind the houses fields once associated with the (now absent) Abbey. Good spot for a nice open crevice garden and scree 😉!

Finally a couple of gardens/courtyards in passing, not part of the Open Gardens but there are plenty of good plantings around the town and a day like this only encourages more! Several more Faversham Gardens aim to open for the National Gardens Scheme next year, which must be good for the Charity and for the Town.

This rose was especially striking, superb in leaf and flower (and I would be very grateful if anyone recognises it and can give me a name? I think we will knock on their door and ask for cuttings!).

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