Friday, August 26, 2016

A Private Tour: Goddards Green Garden In Kent

Goddards Green Garden

The day our small Flora Garden tour group visited a private garden and family home, it turned out to be one of our favourite outings of our trip. Having bounced and woven along narrow country lanes to get there (it's about five minutes from Sissinghurst which we also visited),with a sharp turn into the entrance and there we were ... looking at this ancient, timber-framed house sitting in the midst of a three-acre setting, surrounded by gardens, a meadow and an orchard of apples, plums and cobnuts (a type of hazelnut traditionally grown in Kent).

The setting of the garden is quite rural, looking over fields to woods in the distance. As the brochure says, "The various parts of the garden are in contrasting styles, among them: rural informality around the pond; a traditional long border in front, shading into a meadow and birch grove."

Originally this house, more than 400 years old, belonged to one of the principal clothier families of Cranbrook, Kent. It was sold in the 1920s to the novelist and playwright, Temple Thurston. Later a family called Pearson owned the property for many years; it is believed they planted many of the scented roses which remain in the garden today. The present design of the garden has evolved since John and Linde Wotton bought Goddards Green in 1992.

It was John Wotton who was our amiable host the day our group arrived for a private tour. We were first served tea and cakes, freshly baked, and we sat outside at round garden tables. Although the cakes were delicious (I had a slice of Victoria Sponge) and the tea refreshing, no one lingered as we were all eager to see the gardens. And we were not disappointed.

One small lament:  Why didn't we bring or buy a book on the local flora
so we could have identified these dazzling blossoms?
We won't forget next time we visit.

Through the garden gate up into the grassy fields
which also boasted young fruit and nut trees growing in the midst.

A person could have spent hours wandering along these mowed pathways
listening to the insects and watching the breezes skim across this grassy pastoral view.

Besides the more natural areas,
we walked through that narrow entry at the back of the photo --

up from the house into a lovely laid out water garden and pond
surrounded by large hedges.

Long herbaceous borders at the front of the house

Even the driveway was gorgeous
with old stone buildings and ferny patches.

* * *

It was hard to say goodbye to this beautiful English country garden. So tranquil a place and we saw it in the late afternoon sunshine -- I think I felt its quiet beauty settling on the petals of my own soul and I didn't want to leave and scatter the peace that was enveloping me. But it was time to go.

♥  ♥  ♥

Now, for next time, I've already been working on a post. There are some lovely cakes we met during our visits to various tea shops, and we'd like you to meet them ... the cakes, that is. :) So a post about the English tradition of tea and cakes.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend,

With hugs,


  1. Oh, dear Brenda, what a magical and wonderful post you have shared with us on this special visit to those wonderful gardens! Thank you so much - and yes, ma'am, it IS a beautiful life, indeed! : - )

  2. Oh Brenda this looks absolutely the most beautiful spot. I would have had a hard time saying goodbye too. So enjoying my trip to merry England with you. Hugs!

  3. Such a beautiful place! Thanks for taking us there ♥

  4. Such a wonderful garden - love the gate, open to the field! You will have sweet memories of a beautiful summer. Can't wait to 'meet' your tea-cakes! xo Karen

  5. Just beautiful. My mother and I visited Sissinghurst a few years ago. We loved it.

  6. What a lovely outing - tea and cake and this beautiful garden to wander. I really like the openings of gates and hedges that lead into another "garden room" of sorts.

  7. What a beautiful post.
    Lovely photo's

    All the best Jan

  8. Cakes? Yes, please. This beautiful home looks as if Shakespeare could have lived there and walked in those gardens...unbelievable how old this home is...wonder how such a home is maintained through the years.

  9. What a lovely garden ! I can tell it's smell wonderful =^x^=
    Have a great weekend

    PS : Must be a lot of birds !

  10. Brenda, you certainly took a trip of a lifetime! Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey :)

  11. I love what you're doing here, Brenda. I'm planning something similar (reprising our summer travels through the lovely cities of the Kootenay area of B.C.--a trip we took in mid-July). I'd love it if you'd drop by sometime (it will be on the photoblog, not a Blogger one linked to my comment).

  12. Oh what a lovey place to visit!!!! I'll have to check out your other England posts and look forward to what you write next!!!

  13. What a wonderful garden to explore, looks like you had a lovely visit. I love the inspiration you gain from looking around others gardens.

    Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me