We provide Hospice care & support to patients and their loved ones living in Kent and East Sussex. Discover how we can help you.
Open Gardens season 2023 is nearly upon us. From April to September, 26 gardens throughout Kent and Sussex will open their gates to the public, offering you a rare chance to look around some of the finest private gardens in the area. Come and enjoy the sights and sounds of the participating gardens, ranging from impressive stately homes to smaller family-owned gardens, as well as our very own landscaped grounds at Hospice in the Weald in Pembury.
Whether you want to enjoy a relaxed family day out or you would like to pick up some top tips from the experts, Open Gardens will offer something for everyone. Professional gardeners will be on hand to guide you, or you might just want to enjoy the beautiful surroundings with a good old fashioned English cream tea.
The season starts on Sunday 23rd April at the seventeenth century Lyewood House in Sussex. This spring garden will look delightful with its daffodils on display and shrubbery surrounding the house, with little winding paths to explore from which you can enjoy spectacular views over Tunbridge Wells.
Every weekend you will be able to enjoy a different type of landscape ranging from Mary’s Garden, a small Victorian cottage garden tucked behind a row of railway cottages in Tonbridge, to the ancient woodlands of Stroods set in the beautiful hills of Sussex with its orchard, olive groves and wildflower meadows.
Why not wander the estate at St. Clere in Kemsing and listen to the tales of Head Gardener Martin Platt, who has overseen the recent restoration of the formal gardens? Or perhaps head to the Orangery and enjoy afternoon tea in the Garden Room with its breath-taking views of the Kent countryside.
Alternatively, you can marvel at the beauty of the rhododendrons at Smugglers, a little hidden gem in Crowborough, or immerse yourself in the three acres of gardens at Long Barn, the fourteenth century house that was home to Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson.
You can also wander and discover the delights of Pogles Place where you can enjoy the musical entertainment while sampling some tea and cake. The gardens at Pogles are comprised of wildflower meadows, a vegetable patch, bluebell woods, an evergreen walk and a cottage garden area. If this takes your fancy, why not combine your trip with a walk along the North Downs Way or a visit to the nearby acclaimed Coolings Nurseries.
At world-renowned Tonbridge School, Head Gardener Stephen Harmer will be on hand to answer all your gardening queries. With his Masters degree in Garden History and his teaching experience at RHS Wisley, Stephen’s knowledge is second-to-none. Indeed, he recently oversaw the transformation of the school gardens, which you will now be able to explore. These include the Front of School Garden, Smyth Library Garden, Skinners Library Garden, Garden of Remembrance and the new Barton Science Centre Garden.
Commenting ahead of Open Gardens, Jenny Connolly, Hospice Relationship Manager, said:
“We are deeply grateful for everyone’s dedication and hard work that is helping to make this year’s Open Gardens season possible. Last year, the scheme raised over £25,000 for Hospice in the Weald, with funds going to support our nurses, doctors, paramedics and all the other wonderful staff who work so hard across west Kent and northern East Sussex to help people throughout some of the most difficult times of their lives.”
For many of the events, you can just turn up on the day, but some will require pre-booking. Please check the Events section of our website. Small admission charges apply, with all funds helping to ensure Hospice in the Weald can continue to provide free care and support to those facing terminal illness, and their loved ones.
Parking and disabled access are available at most of the gardens, but please do check before you visit. For more details click the link below.
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