Enchanted Gardens: Pollinator-Friendly Plant Nursery in Whitstable, Kent

Welcome to our new, organic nursery passionate about environmental protection and bio-diversity. We are a small operation specializing entirely in bee, butterfly, moth and bat-friendly plants and habitats - and are one of a very few horticultural companies of this kind.

As of March 2019 we are members of the national...

  • Bumblebee Conservation Trust
  • Butterfly Conservation Charity
  • RHS Royal Horticultural Society
  • Bat Conservation Trust
  • RSPB Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Donna

Donna - Director & owner of Enchanted Gardens

...which all have at their heart a unique charitable vision to help restore neglected natural environments and create new vibrant areas for wildlife.

Award winning Kent garden designer Donna Richardson is right on the button with her grassroots activist work. From Sir David Attenborough, to BBC Springwatch's Chris Packham, to Gardener's World and all the famous and celebrated flower shows in the country - everyone is talking about the importance of saving the bees and the butterflies. Donna was one of the first to recognise this unfortunate trend of losing our insect population years ago, when she set out to develop Enchanted Gardens - a dedicated organic nursery, which sells mostly rare and unusual plants, which were, and broadly are still not grown and are not available in the UK. All of her flowers are selected for their huge amount of pollen and nectar, which sadly, within the industry have been forgotten in favour of profit and fashion.

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Donna teaches from her home in Seasalter, near Whitstable in Kent and offers various short courses in pollinator-friendly gardening.

Since introducing Enchanted Gardens to the public in 2019, Donna has entertained groups from the RSPB, Mother's Union, the WI (National Federation of Women's Institutes) and various other societies. She is attached to the Kent Wildlife Trust and has won a Silver Gilt and a special Nature's Champion award in 2019 from the scheme Wild About Gardens scheme for her efforts.

She usually sells her plants at the Kent Garden Show in Detling every year, which is judged by a Chelsea & Hampton Court Flower Show judge, who awarded her various Gold, Silver Gilt and Platinum awards since 2014. She will be at the Kent County Show on 10th-12th July 2020!

She says: "One of the biggest problems for pollinators is the loss of habitat, due to agricultural practices, urbanization and deforestation. Second is the increasing use of fertilizers and pesticides worldwide and contamination with chemical pollutants of all kinds. So, I'd like to encourage all gardeners to grow more flowering plants, especially those packed full with pollen and nectar. Remember, your garden is a mini nature-reserve and if enough individuals set up a small wildlife sanctuary in their gardens - it will make a huge difference for our declining insect population. There is a need and an interest for conservation issues in the Zeitgeist. So it's time to get involved and give nature a helping hand."

Donna uses only bio-degradable carrier bags to give to her customers and is the process of phasing out plastic labels, changing them into wooden ones. She also uses only peat-free compost and invites landscape gardeners to use her plants for their own wildlife-friendly design projects.

 

Nature's Champion Award 2019 She offers Gift Vouchers for plants and one-to-one experiences, as well as a fabulous range of gorgeous wildflower seeds, which you can order at the link: Enchanted Seeds.

There will also be a brand-new monthly purple Pollinator Pack from April 2020 onward, that will be available either directly from the nursery, or online.

 

  1. Start a garden, however small
  2. Fill this area with the best possible plants that pollinators love!
  3. Build a pond, or provide water for insects
  4. Let parts of your garden grow wild. Introduce wildflowers!
  5. Avoid using pesticides wherever possible
  6. Provide nest sites (bug hotels) and don’t disturb them!

 

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Enchanted Gardens is part of the NGS, the National Open Garden Scheme, which is collecting money for various caring charities nationwide. Last year's open weekends turned out extremely well and the next ones are on 4th/5th April, then  6th/7th June and 12th/13th, as well as 26th/27th September.

 

On top of that, Enchanted Gardens is host to various multi-media Art Exhibitions. This year, we are planning to bring even more beauty and design into our magnificent, pollinator-friendly conservation gardens and show some amazing sculptures, jewellery, paintings, carvings and stained glass against our stunning natural backdrop. Many of the artworks on display will be available for Sale. For samples of previous exhibitions visit: www.enchantedgardenskent.co.uk/2019/09/29/art-exhibitions

Nature Creative - Outdoor Art Immersive 15th/16th August.


BBC South Today and Radio Kent have both interviewed Donna in 2019 and broadcasted a news item about it. 
 www.enchantedgardenskent.co.uk/2019/05/02/rarest-bee-in-britain-found-at-enchanted-gardens

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Our EVENTS, COURSES & TALKS

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MARCH
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• Green Living Market, Whitstable Umbrella Centre (9-4pm) - Sun, 1st
• Wildlife Gardening Course at Enchanted Gardens – Wednesday, 18th
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APRIL
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• Spring Bulb Festival as part of NGS Scheme – Sat/Sun 4th and 5th
• Donna lecturing Windmill Community Gardens - 1pm - Monday 6th
• Wildlife Gardening Course at Enchanted Gardens 10-1.30 – Wednesday, 15th
• Simon Pollard talk & walk in the woods (1.30-5pm) - Saturday, 18th
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MAY
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• Godinton Plant Fair - Sunday 3rd
• Belmont Plant Fair - Sunday 3rd
• May Day at Whitstable Castle – Monday 4th
• Visit from Cross Pollination Project Tunbridge Wells - Friday, 15th May
• Kent Garden Show Detling – Fri-Sun 23rd-25th
• Altogether Extraordinary Neurodiverse session for National Children's Gardening week at EG - Friday 29th (tbc)
• Simon Pollard Presentation; the Four Keys, Sunday 31st @ 3pm.
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JUNE
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• Dunkirk Parish Meeting ‘Therapeutic benefits of Gardening with Nature’ - Monday 1st (tbc)
• Fiona March Selling Gardeners 7.15pm - Tuesday 2nd
• NGS National Open Garden Scheme – Sat/Sun 6th and 7th
• University of Third Age lecture at EG (11.30-2.30) – Tuesday 16th
• Short Talk at St Dunstan's Eco Church - Saturday, 20th (tbc)
• Wildlife Gardening Course at Enchanted Gardens 10-1.30 – Wednesday, 24th
• Demelza Open Garden Fundraising Event – Sunday, 21st
• Faversham Open Gardens Plant Fair – Sunday 28th
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JULY
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• Kent County Show Detling - Fri-Sun 10th, 11th and 12th
• Wildlife Gardening Course at Enchanted Gardens – Wednesday, 15th
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AUGUST
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• Simon Pollard Presentation, The Five Senses, Sunday 2nd, 10am-1pm
• Wildlife Gardening Course at Enchanted Gardens 10-1.30– Wednesday, 12th
• Nature Creative Weekend (Outdoor Art Exhibition) 10-5 - Sat/Sun 15th & 16th
• Donna lecturing for Altogether Extraordinary at Windmill Garden Whitstable - Monday 17th
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SEPTEMBER
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• NGS National Open Garden Scheme by Appointment - Sat/Sun 12th and 13th
• Wildlife Gardening Course at Enchanted Gardens – Wednesday, 16th
• NGS National Open Garden Scheme - Sat/Sun 26th and 27th
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OCTOBER
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• Wildlife Gardening Course at Enchanted Gardens 10-1.30 – Wednesday, 14th
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All events and courses are also listed on our facbook page. Donna is available for Talks, but also for Garden Makeovers. She is currently collaborating with Mencap in Margate, Demelza, as well as Carers Cancer Support in Whitstable.