Great Comp Garden
I’ve enjoyed reading several posts in the last couple of months about Sissinghurst Garden, Vita Sackville-West’s famous creation in Kent. It was among those that I visited on my tour of English gardens in 2003, and one I will always remember.
Another Kent garden, however, has an equally special place in my heart although it may not have Sissinghurst’s instant name recognition. Begun in 1957, Great Comp Garden is the seven-acre creation of Joy and Roderick Cameron. Since Mr. Cameron’s death in November 2009, Great Comp is now under the care of a curator, William Dyson and is open to the public daily.
I will always remember Great Comp because it was there that I discovered one of my favorite perennials, Astrantia major. It’s a wonderful plant for shade and although it prefers sites that stay on the cool side during the summer, I’ve managed to grow both the species (below) and several cultivars in my mid-Atlantic garden. It’s a real beauty.
There is a tremendous amount to take in at this garden. As he built the garden, Mr. Cameron unearthed quantities of stone and brick. Being inventive, handy, and clearly recognizing the value of having a home-made ruin or two to catch the visitor’s eye, Cameron incorporated hardscape treasures in various parts of the garden, such as this walled “Italian Garden” where I took lots of photos.
I didn’t cover anywhere near the seven acres of the garden, but I found my way into both sunny and shady spots.
If you’re planning a visit to see English gardens, don’t miss Sissinghurst, of course. But add Great Comp to your itinerary. You won’t be sorry. And think about adding some Astrantias to your garden. Here are some you can find in my shady back yard – and every time I see them, I think of Great Comp.Explore posts in the same categories: landscape, photography, Travel comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.