Our guest photographer, Alexandra Campbell, captures the beauty of the town's gardens in winter. Alexandra is an author, journalist and gardener, with a highly successful blog, The Middle-Sized Garden, for those whose garden is 'bigger than a courtyard but smaller than an acre.'
In late winter, gardens at first glance appear drab and forlorn. Closer inspection reveals the swelling of buds, ravishing early flowers and the ghostly beauty of windswept decay. These fine photographs are a record of what caught our gardener’s eye – be it conventional beauty or quirky artistry – on a tour of the town on a damp, dull afternoon at the end of January.
In Preston Lane, the long, silky tassels of Garrya elliptica shimmer against the foil of a pale wooden fence
The vivid violet-blue flower of the Algerian iris, Iris unguicularis (left), and (right) Helleborus ‘Anna’s Red’ in my front garden in Athelstan Road
Also in my front garden, a magnificent Magnolia x loebneri ‘Merrill’, beautiful in bud, will be covered with starry, white, fragrant flowers in a few weeks time
In Faversham harbour, (top) bare branches are decorated to make a twiggy still life; (bottom) a bramble stealthily invades little-used steps
On the deck of a Dutch clipper, now converted to a houseboat at Standard Quay, a rosemary in a plastic trug, flanked by crumbling busts, with the coastal marshes beyond, makes a striking composition
A handsome cotoneaster, covered in berries
A rusty dustpan is the upcycled home to a trailing succulent in The Knole
The fat berries of mature ivy augment the late-winter diet of blackbirds. This fine specimen is in Dorset Place
Succulents in a hayrack planter have survived for two winters, protected by an old brick chimney breast in Abbey Street
A scented, floriferous Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ in the brief flurry of January’s snow, photographed by Alexandra in the front garden of Wreight’s House.