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The Watch House

Broadstairs

Adjoining an historic fishermen's cottage, two small courtyard gardens shelter an astonishing array of unusual plants. Thanks to a unique microclimate, the east-facing garden is home to a growing collection of exotics, chosen principally for exuberant, jungly foliage. In the west-facing courtyard a garden room leads onto a terrace where flowering plants jostle for space around a greenhouse.
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    Adjoining an historic fishermen's cottage in the town centre, two small courtyard gardens shelter an astonishing array of unusual plants. The east-facing courtyard was created eleven years ago on the site of a bomb shelter and disused outbuildings. The main challenge here is the lack of soil, the entire garden siting above vaulted undercrofts. These were once the smokehouses for the cottage's inhabitants. Raised beds play host to a collection of tender plants and maturing trees which enjoy the unique coastal microclimate and tolerate wild weather.

    Designed as a space for entertaining, the outdoor kitchen and slate courtyard are surrounded by lush foliage, much of it evergreen. Despite the size of the garden, rare trees from as far away as California and the Chatham Islands flourish, including red-barked Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp aspleniifolius and quirky Pseudopanax chathamica. A constantly changing display of exotic plants in containers - including aeoniums, hedychiums, dahlias, lilies, solenostemon and roscoeas - introduce seasonal colour. An unashamedly high maintenance garden, plants are changed and rotated frequently to keep things looking fresh. No two years are the same, with continuous experimentation and new plants trialled.

    A second, west-facing courtyard is arranged around a greenhouse. This 20ft x 20ft space has a more casual feel and has been dubbed the 'Gin and Tonic Garden' thanks to its sunny aspect at the end of the working day. Plants are chosen for colour and to attract bees and butterflies, which are so precious in the urban environment. A small garden room leads onto a library devoted to books about plants and flowers.

    Although tiny, these gardens demonstrate how much can be achieved in very restricted urban spaces, striking a careful balance between outdoor living space and planting. The garden has featured in Homes and Gardens, The Financial Times magazine, The Observer magazine, Alan Titchmarsh's Garden Secrets and will be seen on BBC Gardeners' World in 2019.

Features and Attractions

Within a few mins walk of Viking Bay, The Dickens Museum and Bleak House.

Press and Media Coverage

Due to feature on BBC Gardeners' World in 2019.

The Watch House- Canceled

Refreshments:

On this day, this garden is open by arrangement, which means that you will have to contact the owner to arrange visits for groups.

Pre-booking essential, please go to our events page to book your tickets.

Admission by donation

Admission:
  • Adult:
  • Concessions:
  • Child:

On this day, this garden opens as part of .

Admission also gets you entry to this garden in the area:

Click the dropdown arrow next to the opening date above to find details of entry costs and to add the opening to your online calendar.

Click on any opening date on the calendar above to find details of entry times, entry price and to add the opening to your online calendar.

  • Regular opening
  • Open by arrangement only
  • Cancelled opening
Owner Information

Dan Cooper
http://www.frustratedgardener.com

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How to find us

The Watch House
7 Thanet Road
Broadstairs
Kent
CT10 1LF

More about The Watch House

Adjoining an historic fishermen's cottage in the town centre, two small courtyard gardens shelter an astonishing array of unusual plants. The east-facing courtyard was created eleven years ago on the site of a bomb shelter and disused outbuildings. The main challenge here is the lack of soil, the entire garden siting above vaulted undercrofts. These were once the smokehouses for the cottage's inhabitants. Raised beds play host to a collection of tender plants and maturing trees which enjoy the unique coastal microclimate and tolerate wild weather.

Designed as a space for entertaining, the outdoor kitchen and slate courtyard are surrounded by lush foliage, much of it evergreen. Despite the size of the garden, rare trees from as far away as California and the Chatham Islands flourish, including red-barked Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp aspleniifolius and quirky Pseudopanax chathamica. A constantly changing display of exotic plants in containers - including aeoniums, hedychiums, dahlias, lilies, solenostemon and roscoeas - introduce seasonal colour. An unashamedly high maintenance garden, plants are changed and rotated frequently to keep things looking fresh. No two years are the same, with continuous experimentation and new plants trialled.

A second, west-facing courtyard is arranged around a greenhouse. This 20ft x 20ft space has a more casual feel and has been dubbed the 'Gin and Tonic Garden' thanks to its sunny aspect at the end of the working day. Plants are chosen for colour and to attract bees and butterflies, which are so precious in the urban environment. A small garden room leads onto a library devoted to books about plants and flowers.

Although tiny, these gardens demonstrate how much can be achieved in very restricted urban spaces, striking a careful balance between outdoor living space and planting. The garden has featured in Homes and Gardens, The Financial Times magazine, The Observer magazine, Alan Titchmarsh's Garden Secrets and will be seen on BBC Gardeners' World in 2019.

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