Ask anyone why Kent is the garden of England and the first thing they will do is say “Look around you”. It is a land rich in soil and in history that has a multitude of tales to tell. It has a vast array of gardens and agricultural landscape the county that take up all the South east of the country certainly has a strong claim to its given name. Another place that is beautiful and has lovely surroundings is a location like Gloucester Park Homes found through sites like www.parkhomelife.com/our-parks/orchard-park.
Kent has always been a garden. The county can trace back its farming roots all the way to Palaeolithic times. It benefits from the warming winds of the European continent, parts of it are closer to Paris than London, and is also protected by it. This allows for Kent to grow an abundance of crops such as wheat and barley, but it is also well know for its hops. Increasingly due to the change in climate Kent is even starting to be able to grow its own vines and produce wine.
It is the gardens of Kent that stand out as there are so many of them to visit. Most of them seem to belong to the National Trust so you might want to think about that membership if you’re planning a visit. First and foremost, there is Sissinghurst. This has to be giving to the National trust as it was owned by one of its founding members Vita Sackville -West owned it. Sissinghurst sprawls across many acres but the real draw is the remains of the caste that once sat in the site. It is now in ruins, but they make a fantastically romantic backdrop. Another national Trust Garden is the Ightham Mote. It’s building is very impressive. Set as it is with the grounds of a moated house. Inside the grounds and outside there are some classic examples of the formal garden where you will see nature in check and roses and geraniums all in a row. If that is not you taste then a quick trip to Chartwell, the last home of Winston Churchill may be of interest. Here there is a heady mix of formal and landscape that allowed the old war horse some comfort in his later years.
It’s not just the National Trust who have the monopoly of on gardens the is the five hundred acres of Leeds castle with its wood garden and water cascades plus the backdrop on the castle itself. Then there is Penshurst Place. Penshurst is by far one of the most extreme and beautiful examples of the ultra-organised formal garden. You can easily see the regimentation being applied to it.
There has been some talk of the North West taking the crown of Garden of England but, for now, the popular thought will still see Kent as the Garden of England.