The first garden we saw outside of London was at Scotney Castle. Our friends John and Pauline drove us there after picking us up at the train station.
Scotney Castle includes a one acre walled garden and a 19 acre park built around an old fortified manor house (Old Scotney Castle) and a pond.
I’ve read that the larger garden is influenced by the Picturesque style, but I have to confess I’m not sure exactly what that is. Apparently it has to do with a romantic view of natural beauty and the incorporation of views that would be suitable for a picture. Maybe one of you can provide a clearer definition.
Many of the largest trees were destroyed in a storm some years ago, but many lovely old trees can still be seen.
A garden built around a pond is a lovely thing. I think this is pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata).
I was jealous of the naturalized Cyclamen blooming in the woodland area.
The walled garden, for me, was the best part. There’s something about all that luscious color and (almost) unrestrained botanical life force contrasting with solemn old stone and brick, like a vivacious child with a stern but kind-hearted grandfather.
Torch lilies don’t usually appeal to me but I liked these yellow ones.
Are these just giant mutant Fuschias?
I should definitely say something at this point about John and Pauline. Judy was high school pals with Pauline, who along with her husband John were incredibly hospitable – putting us up in their rambling 16th Century home, feeding us, and driving us all over the countryside. (We didn’t even know about Scotney Castle until they took us there.) This was a very good thing, as I found the roads in rural England to be fairly terrifying, but more on that later.
This was all the more remarkable as their son George, a star rugby player, was going to depart in a few days to begin his studies at University. So we owe them a big debt of gratitude.
Still to come regarding our time in the UK: RHS Wisley, Sissinghurst, Great Dixter, and English breakfasts.