We heard recently of the death of a past member of Kent Group, Pam Hadrill. She will be remembered by some of our longer standing members for her beautiful garden surrounding a converted oast house in Otford. Pam died on Christmas Day just three days short of her 103rd birthday. She was gardening well into her nineties and it was only a fall when she was 97 that forced her to down tools. Obviously, she was a real hardy planter. Kent Group members visited her garden in July 1994 and Anne Stephney wrote a delightful report for our newsletter, which I reproduce below. Unfortunately, we didn’t all have cameras back then so I don’t have any images to go with it but Anne’s descriptions will, I hope, conjure up the atmosphere. Pam also opened her garden to the public for many years for the NGS so many people will have seen and enjoyed her lovely garden.
There will be a private family cremation on the morning of the 24th January followed by a Memorial Service at 2.30 pm at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Otford. All are welcome.
The funeral directors are Henry Paul at 10, High Street, Pembury.
Anne Stephney’s report from our Newsletter August 1994
“Pam Hadrill’s garden at Little Oast has such a feeling of peace and tranquility. No list of plants or layout description could even begin to convey the atmosphere of this very intimate place.
Masses of pots, even some in borders, and plenty of sitting areas seem to be the secret ingredients, plus a lot of tender loving care from Pam.
Potted fuchsias and hostas clothe the paved walk around the oast. A gently upward sloping garden, shallow steps lead to a paved and planted terrace area. Here a birch shades the seating and pots, and a honeysuckle in full bloom repays the freedom it has been allowed by scrambling down and across the earth. Semi-circular metal trellis (quite new, but much credit to Pam’s design skills it seems at one with everything else) provides support for a thriving golden hop and a vine. The central gap in the trellis gives access to the main lawn and wide borders.
A little further on and rest is again encouraged by a summerhouse cleverly designed by Pam to ensure complete shelter from any wind. Beyond that a wide screen of well established Rosa glauca, grown from cuttings, hides a neatly productive vegetable garden.
Seclusion at the top of the garden is provided with more seating and a statue overlooking a small pond surrounded by ferns, an acer and other shade lovers.
Widely curving, shallow steps approach the summerhouse at the top of the garden, placed centrally where one can sit and look back down the length of the garden towards the oast. The steps are adorned simply with the small ivy, which chooses to crawl along them. Beside the summerhouse a very pretty Stephanandra incisa tumbles down the sides of its urn. Lucky plant; Pam says she bought it at a nursery because it was dying.
Pam’s garden, like its owner, is quite charming and remains one of my favourites. Many thanks to Pam and her daughter Penny for their welcome, the opportunity to visit the garden again and the teas.”