The plants

The plants growing in the garden have been selected to represent those that would have been grown during the time that the college was in use until the dissolution of the monasteries.

Wide trellis border

Throughout the garden we are endeavouring to plant flora contemporary to the medieval period. 

We also wish to encourage biodiversity through the selection of plants which will attract and maintain insects, bees and birds.

Wide trellis border by the ruin plants
Wide trellis border by the ruin

This border is intended to give a wild and natural feel with many native species being free to seed themselves, such as poppies, hollyhocks and foxgloves.

Cloister Garth narrow trellis border

The narrow border is predominantly planted on a green and white theme to echo the spiritual, contemplative and aesthetic nature of the Cloister Garth. 

All the plants are herbs which reflect the medicinal and culinary nature of what might have been grown in medieval times.

Heritage trees

Six trees of ancient variety reflect the productive quality of the green open space that was likely to have been an orchard at the time of Henry Chichele. 

Planted in the wide borders are two Mirabelle plum trees and a medlar. In the green open area are two apple trees and a cherry tree.


The roses were carefully chosen to be in keeping with the medieval period and include:

• Rose de Rescht
• Rosa Quatre Saison
• Rosa Gallica Officinalis (Rose of Lancaster)
• Rosa Alba (Rose of York)
• Rosa Mundi.

Planting on the trellis

The arch features a vine, Wrotham Pinot, since grapes would have been grown at the time the College was inhabited. Rosa Moschata and honeysuckle also adorn the arch. Along the trellis are Great Maidens Blush roses, honeysuckle and jasmine to bring beauty, fragrance and colour in the summer months and to attract the bees and butterflies.