GREAT Comp Garden has one of the finest spring displays in Kent, and is renowned for its collection of 82 magnolias in 52 different species that are at their best this month.

The seven-acre property near Sevenoaks is full of blossom and spring-flowering shrubs at this time of the year, including rhododendrons and azaleas.

But it is a wonderful garden to visit at any time of the year, particularly when its famous collection of salvias come into flower.

The first magnolia was planted in the garden by Roderick Cameron and his wife Joy in 1957.

They had moved from London to the 17th century manor house that year, and gradually transformed the paddock and woodland into the lovely grounds that they are today.

The gardens were left in trust and are open from April until October, with special events including the Great Comp Summer Show in August and Autumn Extravaganza and Craft Fair in October.

Tickets for its open-air theatre production of Romeo and Juliet in July are selling fast.

The gardens are curated by Salvia expert William Dyson, who helps the RHS with Salvia trials and is regarded as Europe’s foremost expert on the plant.

He grows the widest range of Salvias in Europe at the garden, and they come into their own from June to October.

William runs Dyson’s Nursery at the gardens, specialising in salvias and other unusual hardy and half-hardy plants.