Bedding, Climbers, Grasses, Hanging Baskets, Herbaceous Perennial, Roses, Seeds, Shrubs, Vegetables.
The Walled Nursery
The Walled Nursery is a real discovery. Tucked away in the rolling Wealds of the Kent countryside, this nursery is set in a well preserved walled garden on the Tongswood Estate. One of its illustrious owners includes the wealthy industrialist Charles Gunther who made his fortune from the humble OXO cube. The principal house is now a co-ed prep school, St Ronan’s, which is just a few hundred yards from the drive to the nursery. The schools charming clock tower stands high above the walls of the nursery, its chimes are a gentle reminder if you find yourself losing track of the time on your visit.
The nursery was taken over in 2010 by horticulturist’s husband and wife team, Emma and Monty Davies. Emma was previously a Gardener at Great Dixter and near by Sissinghurst, and Monty has run his own gardening and landscaping business. Their combined experience and knowledge give customer’s confidence that they will receive a personal service, receive expert advice and of course a good selection of healthy home grown plants. As the nursery expands it also offers some additional plants from other British nurseries to offer a wider range of plants to their visitors.
There are several nurseries located in walled gardens however this has to be one of the best in the country as it still retains the original thirteen Victorian glasshouses, most of which are in good working order. The two acre walled garden provides an insight into the life of a wealthy Victorian family who would have employed a significant number of staff several of whom would have been gardeners providing the household with a range of flowers, fruit and vegetables throughout the year.
In just two years Emma and Monty have started to achieve their ambition to develop the nursery from a place known not only for its healthy home grown plants, but to provide a high quality and interesting visitor attraction. They have already organised art exhibitions in the glasshouses and will be starting a programme of regular talks and workshops very soon. Every August part of the lawned area of the nursery is transformed into an Indian Bazaar for a week.
An example of how the nursery is evolving into a centre where horticulture is combined with other creative mediums is the art installation by Vivian Pedley called ‘Memorial to a Memorial’, a tribute to the fourteen young men from the estate who lost their lives in the First World War. The exhibition will include poetry by Wilfred Owen and has the support of Peter Owen, nephew of the poet, and actor John Hurt.
This nursery has all the hallmarks of becoming one of the most well known attractions in the area. Being located just a few miles from the famous gardens at Sissinghurst and many other local attractions, a visit to The Walled Nursery makes a perfect day out.
In rural Kent almost equal distance from Tonbridge Wells to the north west (via the A21), Hastings in the south west, Rye in the south east and Ashford in the north east.
The nursery is situated off Water Lane in Hawkhurst which can be accessed from two directions.
From the centre of Hawkhurst follow directions to Rye on the A268, after approximately 1 mile you will see a sign on the left for St Ronans School and The Walled Nursery, this takes you to Water Lane, just continue for half a mile and the nursery is on your right hand side.
Leaving Cranbrook town towards Hawkhurst on the A229, after approximately 1 mile you will see a sign on your left which is Water Lane, this is a long winding lane which does get narrow in places. After approximately 2.5 miles you will see a sign on your left to St Ronans School and The Walled Nursery this is a sharp left turn onto our grounds.
None at present.
Opening times and Visitor Information
April to October
8.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Saturday
10am – 4pm Sundays
November to March
9am – to dusk Monday to Saturday
10am – 4pm Sundays
N.B. The Nursery is closed every Thursday and from Mid December to end of January.
There is plenty of free parking
Groups welcome – please call prior to your visit
The nursery is suitable in most places for disabled visitors
There is no tea room but visitors are offered drinks and cakes
Shop – a range of good quality vintage gardening tools are for sale and a small gift collection
Toilets are available on site
Ways to buy
At Nursery - Yes
Mail order – No
Online - No
Shows – No
Trade prices available to Designers/Landscapers or large orders.
Top five plants
Plant 1: Verbena ‘Sissinghurst’
A tender perennial grown as a bedding plant with masses of umbel like vivid pink flowers all Summer long.
Price: £2.20 for a 1ltr pot
Plant 2: Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’
An evergreen, dome shaped shrub with deep purple, almost black leaves. Eventually reaching approximately 2m in height and width. A great contrast plant in a border.
Plant 3: Alstromeria inca ‘Glow’ (Peruvian Lily)
A semi dwarf, clump forming perennial with upright stems bearing masses of pink flowers with yellow centres. A great plant for cutting and easy to look after.
Price: £5.40 for a 2ltr pot
Plant 4: Orlaya grandiflora
An annual which creates a long lasting display with masses of white flowers, delicate looking but actual pretty tough. A fantastic cut flower.
Plant 5: Stipa tenuissima (Mexican feather grass)
A compact grass reaching just 70cm in height. Fine foliage and feather like flowers which sway about in the breeze. Fantastic planted in a large swathe or on it’s own.
Prices are for an indication only. We cannot guarantee that these plants will be available.
Please contact the nursery directly for current prices and to check stock availability.