Kent & Sussex Tour

This year the Club’s summer tour included 10 glorious and varied gardens in Kent and Sussex some of which are nationally well known, many with fascinating histories and some with royal connections.

Based at the Lingfield Park Hotel, adjacent to the racecourse, we unexpectedly enjoyed an evening watching the sport of kings from the balcony of the dining room. The royal connections continued with our guide, Colin Crosbie, who had at one time been the Head Gardener to the late Queen Mother at Royal Lodge, Windsor. Entertaining, knowledgeable and passionate about trees he contributed greatly to the success of the tour.

We started at Hever Castle, the home of Anne Boleyn and visited by Henry VIII. The present gardens were created in the 1920s by the American, William Waldorf Astor, the father in law of Nancy Astor, the first women MP. The Italian and rose gardens were particularly fine.

Tom Hart Dyke was captured by guerrillas whilst plant hunting in South America. Whilst in captivity he designed a garden to display plants according to their continent of origin. On his release he realised this vision in the walled garden of Lullingstone Castle, his family home. Passionate about plants he was an inspiring guide to this unusual garden.

The garden at Sissinghurst was created in the 1930s by Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicolson in the remains of a brick Tudor Castle in the depths of the Kent countryside. Perhaps the most well known of the gardens it remains close to gardening perfection. The rose garden was at its best, a sea of colour and heady with scent under a clear blue sky. One of the highlights of our tour.

Eccentric and unconventional, the late Christopher Lloyd developed the garden at Great Dixter which had originally been laid out by Edwin Lutyens. Packed to overflowing with an amazing collection of plants, the garden was vibrant and exuberant with unusual combinations of plants, textures and sometimes clashing colours.

In contrast the gardens at Great Comp and Pashley Manor were quiet and serene. Initially seen in the soft light of a damp afternoon, Great Comp was a haven of lush planting around meandering grass glades and woodland paths. The garden at Pashley Manor surrounds a wonderful house, half timbered at the front, Georgian at the back. Enjoyed in the warm, late afternoon sunshine with a black swan cruising on the lake it was a model English country garden.

The spacious parklands at Borde Hill and Wakehurst Place included a fine selection of trees as well as more formal and colourful gardens.

Perhaps the most unusual garden was that at Clinton Lodge developed by Lady Collum and her late husband since the 1950s to reflect English garden design from the C16th to the C21st. We were privileged to be shown round this beautifully presented garden by the elegant owner who also provided morning coffee and cake on the terrace overlooking the deer park.

The garden at Nymans resumed the royal connection. Developed by the Messel family and now National Trust, the last private owner was Anne Messel the mother of Lord Snowden. More wonderful trees, many replanted to replace those lost in the Great Storm of 1987, lead to the gardens, surrounding the ruins of the house burnt down in 1947.

The tour was arranged by Brightwater Holidays, and we had an excellent guide in Colin Crosbie.

Hever Castle Gardens

2016-06-13 Hever Castle 2016-06-13 Hever Castle5

2016-06-13 Hever Castle6 2016-06-13 Hever Castle Italian Garden

2016-06-13 Hever Castle Rose Garden Club1 2016-06-13 Hever Castle Italian Garden Club1

2016-06-13 Hever Castle Italian Garden8 2016-06-13 Hever Castle Italian Garden10

2016-06-13 Hever Castle water lillies 2016-06-13 Hever Castle mauve roses

2016-06-13 Hever Castle Rose Garden2 2016-06-13 Hever Castle topiary2 2016-06-13 Hever Castle Italian Garden7

Lullingstone Castle

2016-06-14 Lullingstone Castle cedar tree hug 2016-06-14 Lullingstone Castle Club1

2016-06-14 Lullingstone World Garden1 2016-06-14 Lullingstone Castle poppy

2016-06-14 Lullingstone Castle Solanum Crispum Glasnevin 2016-06-14 Lullingstone World Garden2

2016-06-14 Lullingstone Castle Club3 2016-06-14 Lullingstone Castle Club4

2016-06-14 Lullingstone World Garden3 2016-06-14 Lullingstone Castle cacti 2016-06-14 Lullingstone Castle orchid

Great Comp Garden

2016-06-14 Great Comp North Garden 2016-06-14 Great Comp Moon Gate

2016-06-14 Great Comp The Sweep1-1 2016-06-14 Great Comp The Sweep2

2016-06-14 Great Comp Crescent Lawn Club 2016-06-14 Great Comp tea room

2016-06-14 Great Comp Top Terrace 2016-06-14 Great Comp Woodland Walk1

Clinton Lodge Garden

2016-06-15 Clinton Lodge Club1 2016-06-15 Clinton Lodge

2016-06-15 Clinton Lodge Club3 2016-06-15 Clinton Lodge Club4

2016-06-15 Clinton Lodge Club6 2016-06-15 Clinton Lodge Pye Water Feature Garden3

2016-06-15 Clinton Lodge Pye Water Feature Garden5 2016-06-15 Clinton Lodge Pye Water Feature Garden2

2016-06-15 Clinton Lodge Gardens1 2016-06-15 Clinton Lodge Gardens3 2016-06-15 Clinton Lodge Gardens2

2016-06-15 Clinton Lodge 2016-06-15 Fletching village coach

Borde Hill Garden

2016-06-15 Borde Hill House 2016-06-15 Borde Hill Rose Garden1

2016-06-15 Borde Hill Italian Garden7 2016-06-15 Borde Hill Italian Garden3

2016-06-15 Borde Hill Italian Garden2 2016-06-15 Borde Hill Italian Garden1

2016-06-15 Borde Hill Rose Garden4 2016-06-15 Borde Hill Italian Garden6

2016-06-15 Borde Hill Italian Garden3 2016-06-15 Borde Hill Acer

2016-06-15 Borde Hill Rose Garden3 2016-06-15 Borde Hill Italian Garden4 2016-06-15 Borde Hill Paradise Walk2

Wakehurst Place Gardens

2016-06-15 Wakehurst Place 2016-06-15 Wakehurst Place Mansion2

2016-06-15 Wakehurst Place Water Garden 2016-06-15 Wakehurst Place Mansion Pond

2016-06-15 Wakehurst Place Garden2 2016-06-15 Wakehurst Place Walled Garden1

2016-06-15 Wakehurst Place Garden1 2016-06-15 Wakehurst Place roses 2016-06-15 Wakehurst Place Walled Garden2

Sissinghurst Garden

2016-06-16 Sissinghurst Oast Houses 2016-06-16 Sissinghurst Gardens

2016-06-16 Sissinghurst Gardens from Tower3 2016-06-16 Sissinghurst White Garden2

2016-06-16 Sissinghurst Gardens roses1 2016-06-16 Sissinghurst Gardens from Tower4

2016-06-16 Sissinghurst Gardens border3 2016-06-16 Sissinghurst Gardens border

2016-06-16 Sissinghurst Gardens border 2016-06-16 Sissinghurst White Garden1 2016-06-16 Sissinghurst Gardens border5

2016-06-16 Sissinghurst Gardens border8 2016-06-16 Sissinghurst Oast Houses2 2016-06-16 Sissinghurst Castle tower2

Great Dixter Garden

2016-06-16 Great Dixter House1 2016-06-16 Great Dixter House2

2016-06-16 Great Dixter long border2016-06-16 Great Dixter long border 2016-06-16 Great Dixter Loggia

2016-06-16 Great Dixter Wall Garden 2016-06-16 Great Dixter Topiary Lawn2

2016-06-16 Great Dixter Sunk Garden Club 2016-06-16 Great Dixter Peacock Topiary Garden2

2016-06-16 Great Dixter Peacock Topiary Garden1 2016-06-16 Great Dixter long border3

Pashley Manor Garden

2016-06-16 Pashley Manor 2016-06-16 Pashley Manor Garden4

2016-06-16 Pashley Manor Garden3 2016-06-16 Pashley Manor borders2

2016-06-16 Pashley Manor yellow roses 2016-06-16 Pashley Manor pink roses

2016-06-16 Pashley Manor Rose Garden2016-06-16 Pashley Manor Rose Garden 2016-06-16 Pashley Manor garden statue

2016-06-16 Pashley Manor Garden5 2016-06-16 Pashley Manor dark pink roses

2016-06-16 Pashley Manor1 2016-06-16 Pashley Manor Rose Garden2 2016-06-16 Pashley Manor Garden2

Nymans Gardens

2016-06-17 Nymans Gardens2 2016-06-17 Nymans Gardens3

2016-06-17 Nymans Wall Garden Cornus 2016-06-17 Nymans Rose Garden

2016-06-17 Nymans Borders 2016-06-17 Nymans Rose Garden2 2016-06-17 Nymans Gardens

2016-06-17 Nymans Kalmia Latifolia 2016-06-17 Nymans Kalmia Latifolia2