Yes, you have guessed correctly Cruella (my wife) and I are over visiting our English house. We are here amongst other things to celebrate my 70th birthday. Ok I know, I don’t look it, but that is one of the perks of having a Witch for a wife, that and living in a house with sweets stuck on the outside. Anyway this post isn’t about my garden as normal, but instead I wanted to introduce you to a garden I visited the other day which I think is worth you visiting if you are ever in England.
April 30th. Things I have been doing lately:
⛰ Visiting Riverhill Himalayan Gardens. The gardens are in Sevenoaks in Kent and are set over 12 acres. They were first laid out by John Rogers in 1840 and the house and gardens are still owned and run by the family. The plot is hilly with steep climbs in places, and overlooks the Weald of Kent. The soil is acidic which means it is perfect for the Rhododendron and Azaleas that were brought back from the Himalayas, and which make this garden special.
If you visit in Spring (as we did) you will have the special delight of the bluebell walks where you have drifts of wild bluebells growing throughout the woods and amongst the Rhododendron. There is also an excellent cafe which Cruella highly recommends as they let her stir their soup pot and do a little bit of chanting and cackling. Anyway, here are some of the highlights.
🌿 The bluebells. There are fantastic walks were you can get wonderful views of the bluebells. The photos below don’t really do them justice. Click on each photo for a larger view. The final photo shows Cruella wandering off into the distance; I told her to find some Witch-hazel and she actually went looking for a witch called Hazel.
🌺 The Rhododendrons. There were lots of fine mature plants with a full range of colours. In many places the flowers were just starting to come through so it should look good for a month or so. The photos below can only hint at the full range. The final photo shows Cruella communing with a Unicorn she had found in a field; she was after its horn for spells. Click on each photo for a larger view.
⛲️ Rock garden, Ferns and water features. Those of you who are regular followers of this blog, will know from a past post that I have recently created a water feature in our Spanish garden. Well, when Cruella caught sight of the Riverhill water features she could barely suppress her mirth and kept comparing my puny efforts to those at Riverhill.
In addition to a formal water feature there is an excellent rockery and woodland pool that is surrounded by a fernery (if there is such a word) anyway, lots of ferns. The first photo below shows the blackboard that explains what they are trying to achieve, followed by some photos of the gardeners planting the ferns around the pool and finally the rock pool and the formal water feature. Click on each photo for a larger view.
👋 Meet the owner. Finally credit where it is due the owners of Riverhill have done a fantastic job in keeping the garden relevant and interesting. Whether you are a gardener or would just like a day out with a nice cup of tea, go and visit this garden it is a pleasure. The photo below shows Sarah Rogers who with her family and staff keep the gardens in such great shape.