One of the best landscape gardens in Kent are the spectacular gardens at Hever Castle were laid out between 1904 and 1908 by Joseph Cheal & Son, turning marshland into the spectacular gardens you see today.
One of the most magnificent areas of the gardens is the Italian Garden, which was designed to display William Waldorf Astor’s collection of Italian sculpture. Over 1,000 men worked on the great design with around 800 men digging out the 38 acre lake at the far end of the Italian Garden – taking two years to do so! Within four years the 30 acres of classical and natural landscapes were constructed and planted. The garden has now reached its full maturity and includes the colourful walled Rose Garden which contains over 3,000 plants.
There are many water features around the gardens, including Half Moon Pond, the Cascade Rockery, the cool and shady grottoes, the formal loggia fountain based on the Trevi fountain in Rome, and the more informal Two Sisters Pond.
Other areas that you can stroll through include the Tudor Garden, Rhododendron Walk and along Anne Boleyn’s Walk with its collection of trees planted over 100 years ago.
In recent years, the present owners have made several changes in the garden including the Millennium Fountain which can be found on Sixteen Acre Island, forming an interesting feature at the far end of this more informal area of the gardens. The 110 metre herbaceous plants border has been reinstated and Sunday Walk created, providing a peaceful woodland garden following the course of a stream. In addition to the existing Yew Maze, a splashing water maze has been built on Sixteen Acre Island - a unique feature which is especially popular with the children!
More recently, an hour long walk around the lake has been opened for visitors to enjoy, with waterfall, splashes and wartime pillboxes.
Bedgebury National Pinetum and forest is the premier outdoor site in the Southeast of England, a completely different choice from other landscape gardens in Kent with nearly 10,000 trees and shrubs the Pinetum is the most complete collection of temperate conifers in the world, it is also an important site of ex situ conservation and a centre of excellence.
The Forestry Commission manage the National Pinetum for the nation. They aim to have a visually pleasing mix of conifers and broadleaved specimens contained in 350 acres of rolling Wealden countryside. The collection was started in the 1840's by the Beresford Hope family and was greatly improved following its acquisition by the Forestry Commission in 1925 when it became jointly managed with Kew Gardens. The planting scheme of William Dallimore, the first curator, largely kept all trees from the same genera together, whilst this was useful for comparing species it lead to an uninteresting landscape. The 1987 storm destroyed up to a third of the trees, this sad event provided an opportunity to replant with mixture of trees to give a varied landscape.
The curator's plan is to provide a mix of 70% conifers to 30% broadleaves, and to leave 40% of the site open to provide vistas and allow the trees to be fully appreciated.
Barry Holdsworth has build many high quality gardens in Kent using local Kent landscape gardeners to construct a variety of gardens and garden features.
Barry Holdsworth can provide competitive quotes for bespoke landscape garden design and construction solutions throughout the South East of England. With over 25 years experience in horticulture and the use of 3D design software Barry is able to offer traditional and original ideas for new and contemporary gardens that are ideal for people with a busy lifestyle seeking a green oasis, an outdoor space to relax in.
So if you want to review your garden and seek the best in design and construction, from planting schemes to new driveways and entrance gates then please contact Barry to discuss your requirements.
Please view the portfolio for pictures of past projects of landscape and garden designs.