What’s on this Spring

Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Spring is a magical me to visit Cambridge University Botanic Garden – it wakes up all the senses – emerging foliage is young and fresh, flower buds are starng to burst and there’s a real sense of ancipaon in the air, as well as lovely fresh scents as everything is preparing to go ‘ready, steady, bloom!’
Seasonal Garden Highlights:
• Cherry Blossom: enjoy clouds of blossom throughout the Garden including the stunning Yoshino cherry tree (Prunus yedoensis) as it bursts into bloom on our Main Lawn.
• Jade vine: wander through the Tropics House in the Glasshouse Range to find the strikingly coloured jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys).
• Magnolias: marvel at the vibrant colours of show-stopping magnolias by the Stream Garden.
• Naonal Collecons: enjoy our displays of Fritillaria, Tulipa and Saxifraga on show in the Alpine House, Glasshouse Range.
For Families:
Crazy Cone Caper self-led family trail, ends 24 March
Join us for a fantastic whodunnit mystery and track down who has been stealing seeds from our pinecones! Pick up a free Crazy Cone Caper trail from the ticket office on your way into the Garden and start investigating. Find amazing pinecones from all around the world, discover cool facts and solve puzzles.
Free for children. Normal Garden admission charge for accompanying adults.
Easter Trail – The Lost Eggs, 28 March – 14 April
Butterfly has lost her eggs and needs your help to work out where she’s left them. Pick up a free booklet on your way into the Garden and visit the trail points to learn egg-citing facts and discover clues to lead you to butterfly’s missing eggs. You might even be rewarded with an egg of your own at the end!
Self-led trail. Children must be accompanied at all times. Standard Garden admission applies for adults.
Exclusive sponsor: Mills & Reeve
Family Saturdays Programme
We’ve got lots of fun plant and wildlife themed crafts planned for 2024’s programme of Family Saturdays:
• Cherry Blossom Collage: Saturday 6 April. The Botanic Garden is famous for its beauful cherry blossoms. Come along to make your own cherry blossom collage using paper and prints.
• Leaf Boggarts: Saturday 4 May. Bring your imaginaon along to this session where we will be making, boggarts, pixies and all kinds of magical creatures out of scks, clay and leaves.
These free activities take place on the first Saturday of each month between 10am and 1pm in the Schools Garden and are suitable for all ages 3+. Booking is required.
For Adults:
Science on Sundays
From exploring herbarium uses to discovering the secrets of wildflowers and fungi, come and discover the fascinang world of plant science in just 30 minutes! Science on Sundays is a free, informal and monthly series of talks, sharing the latest discoveries in plant science and research with our visitors.
• 17 March –The many uses of the Cambridge University Herbarium by Dr Anne Dubéarnès, Cambridge University Herbarium
• 21 April –The world beneath a wildflower meadow by Dr Raphaella Hull, Cambridge University Botanic Garden
• 19 May – Uncovering the microscopic world of mycorrhizal fungi by Dr Jen McGaley, Crop Sciences Centre, University of Cambridge
No booking required. Normal Garden entry fee applies. Suitable for adults and children aged 12+. Talks connue through the summer.
International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition 2024, 20 March – 7 May
Enjoy exploring a selection of stunning, winning images from the 17th International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition (IGPOTY).
The exhibition features a selection of photographs from across the competition’s main categories and highlights from the ‘Discovery in Cambridge University Botanic Garden’ competition, run in partnership with IGPOTY.
New adult trail: Dyes from Plants, launches May
A brand-new trail in collaboration with the Garden’s Artist-in-Residence, Nabil Ali. Dyes from Plants introduces visitors to the plant material used to create dyes, inks and paints. The trail will also provide planting inspiration for dye plants visitors can grow in their own gardens.
Adult Learning Courses
The Garden offers a wide range of workshops and courses, providing a perfect place to develop an understanding of plants, learn more about garden history or get creative. Courses this spring include:
• Growing orchids: theory and pracce – 30 March. Learn about this fascinating plant family with Botanic Garden expert Luigi Leoni.
• Beginners’ garden design – 24 April – 5 June. Expert advice from RHS medal-winning garden designer Paul Herrington on designing your own garden.
• Understanding colour in plants – 20 May. Join the Botanic Garden Director, Professor Beverley Glover, for this half-day course to explore the concept of colour in plants.
• Entangled lives: exploring partnerships between plants and fungi – 7-14 May. Join two plant sciensts, Alan Wanke and Raphaella Hull, to gain a unique insight into the mysterious world of mycorrhizal fungi.
Free Expert Led Tours
Join a special tour every Sunday at 2pm, as our expert guides lead visitors through the Garden’s seasonal highlights. Tours are free with Garden admission on a first come, first served basis. Sign up at the Garden Ticket Offices.
Cambridge Fesval Events:
Student Poetry Trail, 13 – 27 March
Did you know that the word ‘posey’ means both ‘a litle flower’ and ‘a litle poem’? Explore the Botanic Garden in this self-guided trail and see how many poems you can spot. Student writers have joined with the Garden to give a voice to plants that people tend to walk past or overlook. Each litle poem serves as a new kind of label, speaking to those who don’t understand much from a Lan scienfic name alone. There is a link on the poem label inving the reader to reply with their own poems.
This project is part of the Cambridge Fesval Student Creave Team, an iniave to encourage collaboraon across Cambridge, involving more students in the fesval, and encouraging creavity and public engagement. Normal Garden admission charge applies.
The weird world of carnivorous plants, 23 March, 10.30am – 4.30pm
The Botanic Garden is home to some very weird and wonderful meat-eating plants! Come along and find out more about these strange plants, including what they eat, how they catch their food and where they grow in the wild. See the plants in action, watch videos, ask questions and have a go at making a paper carnivorous plant to take home.
For more details and to book a timed entry slot, see our website.

Great Comp Garden
Spring Fling, Plant Fair, Sunday 14 April 2024
When Spring arrives, with it comes the eagerly awaited Spring Fling plant fair at Great Comp Garden in Platt, Nr Sevenoaks/Borough Green, Kent.

Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting out, this event is an excellent opportunity to see the latest plant varieties and get some inspiration for your own garden. Award-winning nurseries will be showcasing their best plants and sharing their knowledge, so you can ask any questions you might have.

In addition to the plant fair, Great Comp Garden is a must-see attraction in Kent. With over 80 magnolias on display, in more than 50 varieties, it’s a magnificent sight that you won’t want to miss. Take a stroll through the gardens and enjoy the beautiful scenery, and don’t forget to stop by The Old Dairy Tearoom for some homemade cakes and light lunches to keep you energised throughout the day.

This popular event is not to be missed, so mark your calendars and join us for a day of inspiration, plants, and delicious food. Whether you’re a plant enthusiast or just looking for a pleasant day out, the Spring Fling plant fair and Great Comp Garden are sure to delight and inspire you.

Tickets are charged at our standard admission rate (£10 per adult, £9 disabled, £3.50 Child (age 5-17) and FREE for under 5’s. Tickets can be purchased in advance or on the day/gate on arrival. We accept card payments only for admission. Admission is FREE to Great Comp Garden annual pass holders (who do NOT need to pre-book).


Great Comp Garden
GARDEN OPEN DAILY: 1st March – 31st October(10am – 5pm), Monday – Sunday (inc. Bank Holidays)
& Thursday – Saturday in November (11am – 3pm)

Hole Park Opens for the New Season on 1 April 2024

A riot of Spring colour awaits visitors to one of Kent’s most celebrated private gardens on April 1st, when Hole Park, in Rolvenden, opens its gates for the 2024 season.

The 16-acres of gardens, which lie a short drive from the pretty market town of Tenterden, will be bursting with Spring delights both formal and wild – from pink magnolia and cherry blossom and beds full of brightly coloured tulips to lawns dotted with crocuses and daffodils and banks of nodding fritillaries.

A variety of new garden and wellbeing events have been introduced to the existing events programme at Hole Park for all to enjoy during the opening season from 1 April to the end of October. Choose from educational workshops with the gardening team and enjoy nature and wildlife events such as the Bumblebee experience. Take part in art and yoga days and learn about the fascinating history of Hole Park with owner Edward Barham. Events can be booked via the website www.holepark.com

This year will also be the first opportunity for visitors to see the impact of the impressive planting scheme in the new Centenary Walled Garden, following the completion of its hard landscaping last year. The formal space, adjacent to the main house, has been created in celebration of 100 years since the founder of the gardens, Colonel Barham, the Great Grandfather of the current owner Edward Barham, first opened the gardens to the public.

Meanwhile Hole Park’s 10 acres of woodlands will be carpeted with wild primroses, wood anemones and bright blue scillas: the precursors to the emergence of the garden’s renowned annual Bluebell Spectacular.

The magical bluebell event attracts hundreds of visitors each year, eager to see one of Nature’s most impressive shows as the woodland floor becomes a sea of violet-blue from mid-April to mid-May. The Hole Park website’s bluebell barometer will provide regular updates on when the bluebells are reaching their peak.

As the bluebells fade, the woodland valley is filled with a new spectacular sight – and scent – as the Wild Garlic comes into flower.

The gardens and tearooms are open daily from 1 April to 30 June before opening on Wednesdays and Thursday until the end of October. The gardens will also be open on Sundays in October. Opening hours are 11am to 6pm.

The circular network of hard paths enables visitors of all ages, including those who require a wheelchair, to enjoy the gardens. Wheelchairs may be reserved free of charge and there are full disability WC facilities.

Light lunches and delicious homemade cakes are available in the coach house and local apple juice, beer and homemade jam and honey can be purchased. There is also a small plant stall next to the Coach House during Spring opening.

Admission in advance through the website: £11 prebooked for adults £12 on the gate and £2.50 for children (5 to 17).
Adult Season ticket £30 each. Child Season Ticket £8.
There is a dedicated tearoom for groups, free parking for cars and coaches and conducted tours can also be arranged for groups by prior arrangement. Groups can request a Guided Garden Tour for £4pp (£40 minimum fee applies).
Hole Park is situated 4 miles west of Tenterden on the B2086 between Rolvenden and Benenden.

For further information about Hole Park can be viewed on www.holepark.com Group enquiries to events@holepark.com 01580 241 344.

Batsford Arboretum

Easter Arboretum Visits
Pre-booking is advisable for arboretum visits during our busy Easter period from 23rd March to 7th April to help reduce queueing time. Timed tickets are available to book at www.batsarb.co.uk/tickets

Batsford members do not need to pre-book, however, if you’re bringing paying guests, we would advise that they pre-book tickets so that you can easily enter the arboretum together as a group. Children (aged 16 years and under) accompanying members do not need to book.

Weather permitting, our one-way entry system will be reinstated during the Easter weekend; please follow the signage upon arrival, which will bring you around the side of the main building to enter the arboretum.

The Big Batsford Bunny Hunt
23rd March to 7th April

The Easter Bunny’s helpers have escaped and they’re hopping around the arboretum – find them to win a prize! See our website for full details.

Wildflower meadow