6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

Let’s go to Emmett’s

PUBLISHED: 12:20 24 July 2016 | UPDATED: 12:20 24 July 2016

The fountain in the Rose Garden in August at Emmetts Garden

The fountain in the Rose Garden in August at Emmetts Garden

©NTPL/Andrew Butler

Delight in the scents and colours at lofty Emmetts Garden this summer

Standing on one of the highest spots in Kent, Emmetts Garden is a riot of colour in the summer. Combining charming formal gardens with family fun, a visit to this National Trust property is a wonderful way to while away precious time together over the summer holidays.

In its privileged hillside seat, Emmetts Garden is a jewel among the county’s most glorious outdoor oases.

An Edwardian estate that was owned by Frederic Lubbock, Emmetts came to reflect the things most important to him in life as it was nurtured into both a plantsman’s passion and a much-loved family home.

This delicate balance endures today, with world-class horticulture sitting side by side with open meadows and play areas for little ones.

The garden was laid out in the late 19th century and plays host to a menagerie of rare trees and shrubs from across the world. In summer, the borders are a sight to behold with a rainbow of colour and scent wafting on the breeze.

Matt Scott, head gardener at Emmetts, explains the theory behind the heady mix of summer scents and colours the Edwardian hillside haven has become internationally famous for.

“Since Emmetts came into our care, we have worked hard to continue Frederic Lubbock’s vision for his family home,” he says. “My team maintains the garden’s historical themes and designs while keeping everything open and inspirational to the thousands who come and visit each year.”

Matt adds: “A large part of Emmetts’ appeal is that it offers year-round beauty that returns season after season. In May, for instance, the woodland was covered in an endless carpet of bluebells. Now that summer is here, I’m enjoying the displays given by some of our more colourful, flamboyant plants.”

An English country garden

Summer highlights at Emmetts Garden include the genteel roses by the pond in the middle of the rose garden, the kaleidoscopic bursts of seasonal colour in the rock garden and the swathes of delicate, white eucryphia – or leatherwood – blooms. Varying shades of pink and purple hydrangeas also complement the pastel roses, set off perfectly by the rolling green landscapes of the Kent Weald behind.

In keeping with its heritage as a family home, Emmetts invites visitors of all ages to let loose among the carefully curated clouds of colour. In summer, the chance to run in the open meadow captures the freedom of the school holidays, while a new wild play area encourages little ones to get back to nature and have some fun.

For families keen to make the most of the sunshine, Emmetts becomes a life-size toy box with games from skittles to giant dominoes – the perfect complement to a tasty picnic or cold drink from the Old Stables refreshment point.

Meanwhile a summer line-up of activity that includes theatre productions, children’s trails and stories continues to inspire and delight once the games have been played. Then there are the more unusual plants and trees to spot.

Matt says: “One of my favourite areas at Emmetts in summer is the South Garden, laid out like an art gallery and full of exotic trees and shrubs.

“I like the ones with intriguingly evocative names, such as the Japanese umbrella pine tree, snake-bark maple and dove tree. For those with an extra sweet-tooth, there’s even a ‘burnt toffee tree’ – although I have to say it smells rather better than it tastes!” wFind out more

Emmets Garden is open daily from 10am until 5pm (or dusk if earlier).

For more information visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/emmetts-garden.

For more ideas for summer fun in and around Kent this month, visit the National Trust’s website at: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/days-out/regionlondonsoutheast/kent.

More from Out & About

The season of romance is in the air and with fairytale castles, literary tales and iconic White Cliffs, where better to pop the question than in the Garden of England? Here are 10 of Kent’s perfect places to propose

Read more

The oldest market town in Kent, Faversham is a perfect blend of pretty scenery, fascinating history and modern convenience

Read more
January 2019
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Enjoy a delicious lunch or a few cosy drinks after one of these countryside strolls. Here are five great pub walks in Kent

Read more

With high-speed rail links, a rejuvenated high street and £590m worth of investment in new developments, Ashford’s expansion continues

Read more
January 2019
Thursday, January 10, 2019

The elusive snowdrop can be hard to find and before you know it, they’re gone again, so we saved you the trouble and found some beautiful spots in Kent to go for a walk among the snowdrops

Read more

This scenic small town is regularly voted one of the best places to live in the country. Here’s why

Read more
January 2019
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A series of special events and activities will run in 2019 to celebrate the 900th anniversary of ‘the loveliest castle in the world’

Read more
January 2019

It’s our county’s most popular tourist attraction and has our largest student population. Let’s take a look at the busy little city of Canterbury

Read more
December 2018

On the banks of the Medway and boasting great shopping, dining and cultural attractions, our county town is great to visit at any time of year

Read more
December 2018
Monday, December 10, 2018

In the final month of the 50th Anniversary of the Kent Downs AONB and 40th of the North Downs Way, we’ve chosen 25 places to visit and enjoy in the Kent Downs this winter

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards 2016. Open for entries.

Latest Competitions & Offers

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life