Gardens of England: Kent & Sussex Garden Tours – 9 hours
These lovely counties in southeast England enjoy a mild climate and have always been famous for their lush gardens and countryside. From the 18th century onwards their proximity to London made them popular with some of the country’s most famous gardeners.
Kent: Sissinghurst, a labour of love created by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson – Scotney Castle, a fine ‘picturesque’ garden set in the castle grounds – Great Comp, particularly wonderful in spring – Emmets, an Edwardian hillside estate with rose and rock gardens.
Sussex: Great Dixter, home of gardening writer Christopher Lloyd – Pashley Manor, drifts of colour around a Grade I listed mansion – Merriments, show garden for a contemporary plant nursery – Sheffield Park, a great escape landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown.
Whether it’s the carefully delineated ‘garden rooms’ – the White Garden, or the Lime Walk – cultivated by writer Vita Sackville West and her diplomat husband at Sissinghurst, or great borders crammed with plants of all types and colours by Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter, southeast England has so much to offer the garden lover.
Your customised guided tour of Kent and Sussex gardens may include the swathes of rhododendrons and azaleas around the 17th century manor house at Great Comp in spring, or changing autumn colours at Sheffield Park, a 120-acre landscape designed by Capability Brown in the English style. The practical gardener will love the Merriments show garden and nursery, others may prefer hillside planting and sweeping views at Emmets.
There is usually time on this private tour of Kent and Sussex gardens by car to visit three gardens in one day, and your Driver-Guide will tailor the day not only to your gardening interests but to the time of year and the weather.