Visit Kent's Secret Gardens: Falconhurst

Visit Kent's Secret Gardens: Falconhurst

25th May 2018 has teamed up with the National Garden Scheme to introduce you to some of the local secret gardens worth seeking out.

We are blessed with many�local attractions that can inspire your gardening, but there are plenty more gardens that you've never even heard of. The�National Garden Scheme�(NGS) opens the doors to these hidden gems for just a few days each year raising millions for charity in the process. We are pleased to be working with participants in the scheme to showcase the beautiful spaces welcoming you this year.

This week we spoke to Nicola Talbot, whose garden at the family home of Falconhurst, in Markbeech near Edenbridge, serves as a stunning backdrop at this popular wedding venue. The house was built in 1852 by John Chetwynd Talbot in 1852, a young lawyer from an aristocratic background who had a vision of creating a beautiful country house as a getaway for his family, together with local amenities including a Church, school and farm.

Today the estate is still run by the family.� The farm is an organic dairy unit, the cottages are let and the Church is thriving. Occupying four of the 700 acres, the Falconhurst garden boasts stunning views, deep borders and benefits from mature planting that is only possible thanks to 160 years of careful development, with each generation introducing new ideas that add to the character and beauty of the planting. �

Falconhurst opens its garden gates to the public for just five days in 2018. To find details about the opening, visit Falconhurst's NGS page.

Interview with Nicola Talbot begins below the image

Falconhurst, near Edenbridge, offers stunning views over the Weald

What is your favourite thing about your garden?�

I love the big wide borders and being able to fill them with masses of colour.� I love the continuity of each generation taking a different slant on the garden.

How has your garden evolved with time?

The garden was started by the Talbots: my husband's great-great-grandfather built the house in 1852, and each generation has done something different. Originally it was nearly all vegetables and fruit, supplying food for the house, but there were some beautiful ornamental trees planted too.

My parents in law put in lots of interesting shrubs and we have taken it forward from there incorporating the ruin of the original house and a walled garden that was completely disused when we took the house on.
Falconhurst, near Edenbridge, incorporates the ruins of the old house in its gardens.

What are your favourite plants and why?�

Impossible to say - dahlias, grasses, roses, peonies, salvias and I love growing and planting annuals to run through the beds, especially poppies such as 'Beth's poppy'.

What plants have made you work the hardest?�

Roses.� I love them but they are a pain to look after, in more ways than one.

Roses at Falconhurst, near Edenbridge, aren't just enjoyed by the human visitors!

What do you enjoy the most about taking part in the National Garden Scheme?�

I enjoy people enjoying my garden!�

Do you have any advice for other gardeners?�

Mulch lots, plant lots and just enjoy it.� Don't worry what other people might think - if you like orange and purple together then do it.

Full details about the garden's NGS opening, including dates and how to get there, can be found on�Falconhurst's NGS page.

Falconhurst is also a popular wedding venue. To find out more about the other activities of the estate, visit the Falconhurst website.�

The deep herbaceous borders give so much character to the planting.

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