A copy of the garden brochure, £1, is essential to see all that this garden offers; it’s large and there are many areas that you’ll be likely to miss if you don’t have one. If you have one in advance of your visit study it and plan your tour so that you see the parts you want to, if you can’t get one in advance then I suggest that you buy one on the way in then head to the tea room to review it and make your plan. If you do neither of these then before you go visit the website which has comprehensive details of the garden, it’s features, facilities, opening times and address. As with the garden itself, a lot of effort has gone into the website and it’s a great introduction to the gardens.
What’s there? – A lot; Main Borders, New Borders, Terrace, Japanese Garden, Seaside Garden, Gravel Garden, Woodland Beds, Water Garden, Ponds, Woodland Gardens, Woods, Cottage Walk, Orchard, Secret Garden, Bamboo Dell, Tropical Island, Tea Room and a nursery.
The nursery, has a wide range of plants for sale, all pot grown and many not available at garden centres. The website page breaks down plants by type and provides extensive lists of plants for sale in each of the categories; Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Bulbs & Corms, Grasses and Bamboos, Climbers, Water Plants, Ferns, Sempervivum and Succulents and, lastly, others.
What month should I visit? There’s so much variety in the gardens that you might want to consider what’s at its best when, see the link below for the gardens’ Monthly Attractions page.
How much time should I spend there?
This is a 20 acre site and nearly all of that is open to view, if you want to see it all, or even most of it, then you need to budget a few hours, preferably broken by lunch and a couple of tea breaks at the Tea Room; this serves light lunches, home made cakes, tea and coffee. Also as this is a garden for all seasons you may want to consider a season ticket, if you visit more than three times this is a bargain, especially if there are 2 of you.
The gardens were designed by the owner, Fiona Edmond, a professional garden designer. She holds courses and talks aimed at the enthusiast wanting to design all or part of their own garden. Details are available here. Naturally she also designs gardens for private clients, some of her commissions can be seen here.
Other reviews and mentions.
Telegraph review – best gardens to visit.
Summary – a fascinating day out for an enthusiast; it is easy to get to if you live in the South East, has good facilities, offers excellent value for money, is educational and fun.