Skip to content
A Modern Hedge HL

Unforgettable Gardens – Balmoral Cottage, Benenden

Kent Gardens Trust

Buy Tickets - £5

This talk is the last in a series on Weds @ 6 presented in association with Kent Gardens Trust £5 each or all 4 for £16

Attendees will be sent a Zoom link 2 days prior to the start of the talk, and again a few hours before the talk. A link to the recorded session (available for 1 week) will be sent shortly afterwards.

Week 1. 5 January. The Gardens at Walmer Castle: Part of a series of 4 online lectures, £5 each or all 4 for £16.

Week 2. 12 January. Restoration House, Rochester: Part of a series of 4 online lectures, £5 each or all 4 for £16.

Week 3. 19 January. Memories of Sissinghurst: Part of a series of 4 online lectures, £5 each or all 4 for £16.

Week 4. 26th January. Balmoral Cottage, Benenden. The Garden of Charlotte and Donald Molesworth with Charlotte and Donald Molesworth

A visit to the extraordinary and charming garden around Balmoral Cottage in Benenden, Kent has become a ‘must‘ for all lovers of topiary. This lecture will attempt to recreate the magic on our screens.

Just over 30 years ago, Donald and Charlotte were, by good fortune, able to purchase the almost derelict small house that stood in the abandoned old kitchen garden of Collingwood (Cherry) Ingram’s house, The Grange. They moved in with one light bulb, a bed, a small table , 2 dogs, a donkey , 7 hens, and boxes of Narcissus pseudo-narcissus from Donald’s father’s garden, yew seedlings as part of a wedding present, and numerous plants in every conceivable kind of container. A new garden started to form in their minds the next day.

Thousands of boxwood and other cuttings were taken, the old kitchen garden dug over and weeded to form a temporary nursery, and a pond was dug by a friend as a wedding present! A detailed plan emerged, and in time became a reality. Donald had gained inspiration from a wonderful garden made by his father; Charlotte had become inspired by the topiary loved by her mother. The fusion of interests at Balmoral Cottage has resulted in a marvellous blend of weird and wonderful topiary interspersed with quiet niches filled with plant treasures of all kinds.


Charlotte Molesworth is a professional garden designer and artist and has built up a reputation for her topiary designs. Donald has been a horticulturist for as long as he remembers!