Gardener’s Blogs

Gardener’s Blog – Titsey
20 June 2023

Hello, and welcome to the first of the Head Gardener’s blogs. We aim to reach out to all of our gardening friends who take the time to visit our website.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Titsey Place, we are a 15 acre garden with two Walled Gardens (one no longer in use nor open to the public) & the other is 1 acre in size, two lakes, a formal Rose Garden and a number of large beds dotted throughout the gardens and of course a lot of lawn.

As you can imagine that leaves a lot of scope to chat about. 

But perhaps I should introduce myself. My name is Rory, I’m originally from Ayr in the South West of Scotland, where, encouraged by parents, I started gardening as a small boy. 

My previous role to this was looking after a small charity garden in North London, so Titsey Place is in many ways very different.

I have quite diverse horticultural interests from growing garlic and pumpkins to roses and dahlias and a great deal in between! I love colour, scent and a bit of romance in a garden. Anyway, enough about me.

As I mentioned I am quite passionate about roses, but for me roses always need friends.

The remarkable Italian Bugloss

I came across a really useful plant called Anchusa azurea ‘Dropmore’ or Italian Bugloss  while reading material by Michael Marriot, the great rosarian. He recommended it and so we thought to give it a whirl! It is remarkably easy to grow from seed and standing at 2m (or 6 foot in old money) with an amazing  Gentian blue colour  what’s not to like about it. Yes it’s not for the faint hearted amongst us and some could argue it might outshine the main stars . . . but I like it! 

One of the really exciting things about taking over a new garden is of course discovering new plants and trees. One such discovery for me is an old French pear called Catillac. This particular pear is not one you will find in supermarkets, it is an old cooking pair which you don’t even start to use until February. It must’ve been a  useful source of vitamins during the winters in the olden times. It has a very grainy texture and a pink tinge when cooked, it stews up wonderfully particularly when cooked with apples.

Catillac pears in their glory

We grow it on the east wall near the top of the Walled Garden, so it’s easy to find when you visit.

And what’s new to see for our returning visitors this year? Well during our closed season the paths in the Walled Garden have been re-edged bringing a new sense of definition along with new planting schemes to freshen up the area. Also in the Coronation beds at the far end of the gardens, we have installed a number of architectural plant frames with new plantings to create quite a different feel to this area. And as always we are adding quite a lot of new plant material through so there is always something new to come & see at Titsey Place.  Enjoy your summer . . .

The works we undertook this spring to get the gardens ready for the summer.