“galanthophile”- an enthusiastic collector of snowdrops. Great Comp Garden in Sevenoaks, Kent hosts their first ‘Snowdrop Sensation’ event.

view through the brick arch at Great Comp, Kent

Great Comp Garden, near Sevenoaks is a wonderfully varied  garden spanning some 7 acres with something for everyone including woodland walks, a glorious Italianate garden and even romantic ruins! Great Comp was created by Roderick and Joy Cameron who moved to Great Comp in 1957, opening the gardens to the public for charity in the early 1960s.


Our visit coincided with the first annual Snowdrop Sensation, including a plant fair dedicated to snowdrops and early flowering bulbs. Crowds of galanthophiles poured through the gates, eager to seek out rare and unusual varieties of snowdrops on a beautiful sunny winter’s morning.

snowdrops galore at the snowdrop fair, Great Comp Garden


Amongst the sellers was world renowned snowdrop expert Joe Sharman, of Monksilver Nursery in Cambridgeshire, selling his record-breaking specimens, along with other snowdrop specialists.


It really was a great time to view Great Comp Garden, which is not usually open at this time of year.  The numerous snowdrops and hellebores in the garden were quite a spectacle, and the Rubus cockburnianus, or white stemmed bramble, caused much discussion amongst the visitors, who admired the arching white-bloomed stems.  A glorious Hamamelis (Witch Hazel) was in full flower and was much photographed, as were the snowdrops.  The small but delightful tea room was cheerily decorated with bunting and despite the chilly weather, visitors were braving the elements and enjoying refreshments outside.

The next NGS open day for Great Comp is Sunday 29th March 2015 between 11am and 5pm, when visitors should be lucky enough to see the azaleas, rhododendrons and over 50 magnolias, alongside numerous spring flowering bulbs.

winter sun across the topiary, Great Comp Garden, Kent

The garden opens officially on 1st April and on open days and  throughout the summer months the Old Dairy Tearooms is open offering a delightful selection of light lunches and tempting home-made cakes.


For those who missed the snowdrop event, the ‘Spring Fling’ is on 12th April which promises more plant buying opportunities, with specialist and multi award winning nurseries from across the South displaying the wealth of plants available at this time of the year.

William Dyson, curator at Great Comp also runs his own nursery within the grounds that specialises in Salvias, it being one of the largest collections of Salvias in Europe, with well over 250 different species, cultivars and hybrids, and visitors in the summer can view these many varieties at Great Comp.



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