Kent is known the world over as ‘The Garden
of England’. And with good reason. It may
have originated because of the vast areas
of fruit orchards, but it’s also a county with
an enviable array of beautiful gardens, of
all shapes, styles, and sizes.
Large formal gardens, such as those at
Hever Castle, are breathtaking in their
intricacy. Large parkland gardens, like
those at Leeds Castle and Quex House,
and wonderful for walking, & continually
offer something different as the seasons
change. There are smaller gardens set in already
picturesque surroundings, perfectly demonstrated by
the Vita Sackville-West designed marvel at Sissinghurst
Castle. And of course, there are new horticultural marvels
still being bought into being by enthusiastic plantsmen - you
only have to take a trip to Tom Hart-Dyke’s renowned ‘World
Garden’, at Lullingstone Castle, to witness this.
But the real joy can often be found away from the large
estates and well-to-do stately homes. Kent is a county
of gardeners, and this is best seen in the late spring when
countless villages and small towns host ‘garden safari’s’. A
single ticket will give you a rare opportunity to wander into
everyday back gardens of the villagers, all usually a mass
of colour, and immaculately tended. From council houses
to cottages, you will witness some beautiful designs, and
come away with not just some great ideas and inspiration
for your own garden, but usually some new friends too!
Lastly, don’t forget the many public parks & gardens that
adorn the towns and villages of Kent. Even here, you’ll be
delighted at how many hidden gems you can discover, & of
course these also have another advantage - they’re free!