To people who have not visited Hadlow it is a college mainly for Horticultural and Agricultural. Broadview Gardens is within the campus where the student can learn both theory and practical on the gardens which are also open to the public. I first visited the site probably 20 years ago and have been doing so on a constant basis since. My last garden review was a few years ago see www.plantsr432U.co.uk whereby I started that the gardens had fallen into decline once you passed the cafe and initial flower beds. Unfortunately my views have got worse, having passed the beauty of the borders you are then faced with a large area which is over grown. My local council would say such areas are for environmental gain but these garden areas just looked scraggy confirmed by not being able to sit on the only bench because nettles were protruding through the slats. It was not an organised butterfly farm and there were less butterflies here than in the rest of the garden. I then walked onto the woodland area which again was neglected with rotting wood and many nettles. This was followed by the pond that was overgrown and the pond was covered in a film of some kind. I then walked through a wooden area which basically consisted of some ferns and that was it. Then I come across a second lake and was quite surprised by the care that have been taken with a fence that was made of bamboo and then I came into the back way to the Japanese garden which was a total revelation, it was so well planted and beautiful that I took a long video of it which can be seen on my Instagram site plantsr432u. I then crossed into the Rose Garden which again was very nice but there were a few high dandelions etc that would have taken a few minutes just to clean and get rid of but unfortunately it made a blot on the otherwise beautiful garden area. it seems to me that they have gone to a lot of trouble to make these two areas very, very nice but at the expense of the rest of the garden which probably could be due to cuts or lack of staff or students but it did actually feel uncomfortable walking around some of the unkempt areas. Let's hope it is W.I.P.
I did see some beautiful plants on the way round and took several photos and there were some quite unusual plants I must admit, so I was looking forward to going into the on-site Garden Centre. Sadly again it was just basically a scruffy mess with very few plants that I had seen in the gardens and most of their selection were the same and it bears no resemblance to some of the beautiful plants that were in the garden. They appear to have plants now that would perhaps sell well - the clematis, the conifers, some trees but they had a lot of pots and I can't see anybody really going to this place rather than to one of the larger garden centres that has got a far better range. Going into their shop it was even worse I don't know who the buyer is but although they had a small range of nice garden equipment a large majority of the items were irrelevant to gardening e.g. laces for shoes, several unrelated cups, cards, general books, children toys. I would have expected such a prestigious place with its horticultural connections to be more professional, if you take a look at the RHS Wisley garden centre you will see that it mainly caters for the keen gardener. Kent is void of a RHS type site but Hadlow could become a jewel, not only in Kent but the UK as a place to visit but not at the moment. #gardenreview #gardencentre #hadlowcollege #horticulture #gardenstovisit #lifestyle #lifeblog #lifestyleblogger