by Aspect County

The World Garden wins RHS Partner Garden regional award

A botanical gem that is set in the beautiful Kent countryside and nestled within the historic grounds of Lullingstone Castle in Eynsford. Tom Hart Dyke is the curator, heir to the Estate and is the 20th generation of the family to live at the Castle.

The World Garden at Lullingstone Castle in Kent photo credit Stephen Sangster

Tom Hart Dyke said I was over the horticultural moon to learn that we had been voted as the finalist for the RHS Partner Garden for the South East of England. The prestigious accolade is a real testament to the hard work and passion of the entire World Garden team over the last 18 years. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to vote for us, we can’t wait to welcome visitors again in 2023!”

Helen Feary, RHS Partner Garden Manager presented Tom with the award on Friday the 18th of November and visitors in the new year will have the opportunity to see the coveted plaque take pride of place in the potting shed nursery. Tom was bowled over by the many comments written by those that had voted for them. The World Garden is my horticultural happy place,” commented one voter. Over the years I have visited I have been impressed not only by the garden itself, but the passion shown by its creator and the volunteers.” Another said: Promoting world peace, and combining plants from around the world, what isn’t there to love about this garden?”.

Tom Hart Dyke The World Garden Helen Feary RHS HR

The vision of The World Garden was the creation of Tom, a modern-day plant hunter who triumphed through adversity to make his dream a reality. He was kidnapped in Colombia in 2000 on a plant hunting mission for orchids and to help him endure his nine months in captivity he began sketching out a map of his ideas. On his release he returned home to Lullingstone Castle and started working within the two-acre walled garden to transform it into the first World Garden of Plants.

Opened on Easter Saturday in 2005, the garden is now in its 17th year, with visitors walking through the moon gate to be greeted by some 8,000 plant species, varieties, cultivars, and hybrids planted in their respective countries of origin. A feast for the senses in all seasons, the garden pays homage to the amazing achievements of the great plant hunters, who risked life and limb in pursuit of the plants we now cherish in our UK gardens, almost 80% of the plants grown are not native to this country. Many years of dedication by Tom, his volunteers, family, the local and wider plant community have helped shaped the garden, not forgetting his inspirational Granny Crac’ who filled him with a passion for plants and adventure from an early age. 

The World Garden at Lullingstone Castle – Open Friday 1st of April – Sunday 29th of October 2023, every Thursday, Friday*, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays: 11am – 5pm. House open during events & Bank Holidays between 11am – 5pm. *excluding Good Friday.

The World Garden re-opens for its 2023 season on Friday the 1st of April 2023. Lullingstone Castle & World Garden — Eynsford, Kent, DA4 0JA