We are spoilt for choice in Kent for beautiful gardens to visit this June. With over 60 open days this month for the National Garden Scheme, there is so much to explore and enjoy, including several new gardens as well as old favourites full of blooming roses and early summer joy. There are also group openings which offer exceptional value for money as you can visit several gardens for one admission price. And a wonderful community garden near Margate that has a fantastic wood-fired pizza ‘restaurant’ at its heart, using ingredients grown in the garden. Below is a selection of June openings. For the full list of gardens open in Kent, please click the link: Kent NGS open gardens 2024

New & Pop-up openings

Pop-up opening

To kick off the month, The Mount nr. Rochester has a pop-up opening on Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 June. This 2-acre country garden was in a derelict state 12 years ago but now includes a white & yellow garden, wildlife pond, mown labyrinth and perennial vegetables & picking flowers grown among brick remains of Victorian glasshouses. Teas served in the renovated walled kitchen garden where there are raised veg beds, espaliered fruit trees, climbing roses and a 25m flower border. Countryside views. Dog friendly & plants for sale. 

NEW June gardens

The National Garden Scheme is the largest funder of Hospice UK and on Saturday 8 JuneHospice in the Weald in Pembury will be open, the garden having been completely refurbished, with lots of seating and new planting to enjoy. Dog friendly and plants will be for sale.

On Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 June there are two gardens opening in historic Tenterden as  99 High Street is now joining with 95 High Street, and both can be visited for the very reasonable £6 admission price. 99 High Street is a narrow mainly shaded town garden with ‘rooms’ and plenty of pretty seating areas, lovingly planted over 25 years. You can take your well-behaved dog too as both gardens are dog friendly.

Beautifully situated on the River Darenth at Horton Kirby, you’ll find Court Lodge, a garden that has evolved over four generations. Mature trees and an elegant lawn lead down to the river, and behind old yew hedges lie a secluded white garden, kitchen garden, a renovated rose walk, and bee loving mixed borders. There is a walled Italian garden and also a wild bank to meander through. Open on Saturday 22 June, and also open by arrangement for groups of between 10 and 20 from the end of June until September.

Wonderful early summer gardens & roses

A stunning English country garden of 10 acres is at Norton Court nr. Teynham which is situated within parkland. Mature trees, topiary, wide lawns and beautifully clipped yew hedges set the tone. A wonderful walled garden contains gorgeous mixed borders while climbing roses scent the air. Or enjoy walking among wildflowers in the orchard along its mown paths. There is even a treehouse in the Sequoia. Open on Monday 10 & Tuesday 11 June. By Arrangement visits can be arranged from June to July for groups of between 15 and 25. 

Downs Court is a 3-acre downland garden on alkaline soil with fine trees, mature yew and box hedges, a small parterre and bountiful mixed borders with many unusual plants. For rose lovers, there are many shrub roses to enjoy and a glorious rose arch pathway. Sweeping lawns give way to lovely views over the surrounding countryside. Open on Sundays: 9, 16 & 23 June. You can also organise bespoke By Arrangement visit up to 21 July.

Old Bladbean Stud was voted the South East winner of The English Garden magazine’s ‘The Nation’s Favourite Gardens 2023’ and is well worth a visit. Open Sundays: 9 & 23 June, 7 & 21 July. You’ll find a dedicated walled rose garden where you can lose yourself among the 90+ old fashioned rose varieties. It is one of five interlinked gardens that also include a tranquil yellow and white garden, a square garden with a tapestry of self-sowing perennials with a Victorian style greenhouse. There is an extraordinary and immaculate 300ft long colour schemed symmetrical double borders that is a must-see. Unsurprisingly, Rachel de Thame visited this fabulous garden to film it for BBC’s Gardeners’ World. Plants for sale.

Group openings

Group openings offer great value for money, where you can explore a town or village along with its gardens. West Malling Early Summer Gardens are a total delight, offering six gardens of very different sizes and styles to enjoy with all but one within strolling distance of each other, allowing you explore the historic market town of West Malling. Brome House and Went House have large gardens with specimen trees, old roses, mixed borders, attractive kitchen gardens and garden features include a coach house, Roman temple, fountain and parterre. Town Hill Cottage is a walled town garden with mature and interesting planting. Abbey Brewery Cottage is a recent jewel-like example of garden restoration and development. Lucknow is a closely planted small town garden. Open on Sunday 2 June, access to all six gardens is for the admission price of £8, child: free, making it a very affordable and enjoyable day out. Dog friendly too! Home-made teas served at New Barns Cottages, ¾ m from West Malling High Street.

Elham Gardens has a thriving community of keen gardeners and offers a whopping 12 gardens to visit for just £10 (child: free), open on the weekend of Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 June. This year, several new gardens join ones that have previously opened, all providing a wide range of style and size. Nearly all the gardens are within walking distance of each other with two a short drive having parking available. This picturesque village provides an idyllic setting with its beautiful Grade I listed St Mary’s church at its centre, situated in glorious countryside within the Elham Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Home-made teas served in the Old Vicarage Garden and plants will be for sale.

Brompton Village Gardens, Gillingham: Four small town gardens, redesigned by their owners, opening in two adjacent streets in historic Brompton. There’s a plantswoman’s garden full of planting to encourage wildlife and with unusual planting, an elegant Italianate garden, and a garden redesigned from scratch after extensive building works with a photographic display shows before and after transformation photos. There is also a colourful English country garden full of classic planting with summerhouse and relaxed seating areas, where you’ll find homemade teas to enjoy. Plants for sale. Open Saturday 15  & Sunday 16 June, Admission £5, child: free.

Community Garden

The Garden Gate is a community garden based in Northdown Park between Margate and Broadstairs, 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 have been on this site since 1998. There is a wildlife pond, two polytunnels, a shade house, some coppiced woodland and a green roof on one of the buildings. Here you’ll find a truly delightful and uplifting space to spend a summer’s day, enjoying homemade teas or a delicious wood-fired pizza with toppings from the garden. 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 8 June and also by arrangement, 10-14 June. Admission: £5, Child: Free. Dog friendly. Plants for sale.