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

Spotlight on: Emmetts at Ide Hill

PUBLISHED: 12:27 11 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:27 11 April 2015

Pink rose Constance Spry at Emmetts Garden

Pink rose Constance Spry at Emmetts Garden

Archant

An Edwardian estate that became both a plantsman's passion and a family home is now celebrating the return of a long-lost rose garden

Emmetts Garden, which stands on one of the highest spots in Kent at Ide Hill, near Sevenoaks, is celebrating the end of a remarkable restoration project this month that sees the return of dozens of beautiful scented roses for the first time in over a century.

Using photographs from the early 1900s as reference, the restored Edwardian rose garden recaptures the delicate pink roses and pastel borders that its original creator, Frederic Lubbock, designed for his wife as part of this romantic landscape.

The rose garden would originally have been the focus of the formal area of Emmetts Garden and, with its pink hues and blush blooms, is affectionately known as the ‘Ladies’ Garden’.

Simon Walker, head gardener, says: “The original roses were mainly chosen by Frederick’s wife Catherine for their scent, small size and feminine pink colours.

“ Photos showed how dwarf roses and weeping standard varieties were laid out in a pattern with co-ordinating underplanting of spring perennials. It was extremely well thought out and it’s been a delight to recreate this pretty pastel landscape.”

Funding for the rose restoration came from local National Trust centres and associations, who were inspired to act by Cathy Barnard, a volunteer at Emmetts Garden with a keen interest in its history.

Several other volunteers joined the resident gardening team over the winter to plant the roses, overcoming cold, wet and windy conditions to complete the work.

“Everyone really wanted to get the job done so that the roses would be in flower this season,” says Simon. “It took us four months to plan everything, then seven weeks to plant all the roses.

“We had a tent that we moved around to keep areas dry as we worked – it was the only way to combat the wet weather!

“Once the roses were in, we added a layer of perennial spring bulbs, including anemones and crocuses, to sustain the colour for a longer time period and to match the original designs for the garden to always be in colour.”

Now the restoration is complete, future plans include adding to the underplanting with tulips, alliums and more seasonal colour. The roses themselves will be at their colourful best between June and August, with early signs of blooming appearing mid to late May.

With gates at either end and plenty of seating, the rose garden is set to be a hit with visitors this spring looking for tranquillity, or just to while away the hours among the scented ‘pops’ of powder pink.

Simon adds: “The restored rose garden would have historically been one of Emmetts Garden’s early summer highlights and we’re thrilled to have restored it to its original glory.

“It complements the rest of our seasonal colour beautifully – pink roses, delicate bluebells in our ancient woodland, a wildflower meadow, early flowering trees, rhododendrons and azaleas in full flower 
as well as lilies and fritillaries.”

Find out more

For more details about Emmetts Garden, visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/emmetts-garden. To discover more about beautiful spring and early summer colour, nature walks and events taking place in May at the National Trust in Kent and the South East of England, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/southeast.

n

More from Out & About

Enjoy a short urban walk rather than a country stroll this month, as we follow the course of the ancient Pent stream

Read more
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Try our pick of some of Kent's best boat trips: With everything from a wildlife spotting jaunt down the Stour to a jetboat adventure on the Medway, there's something for everyone

Read more
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Kent has many villages that exude historical charm and a traditional village atmosphere beloved by locals and visitors. Here we pick 10 of the prettiest to explore

Read more

Sandwiched between two of Kent's trendiest towns, this peaceful little seaside resort has been overlooked for years. It's time for Herne Bay to take centre stage

Read more

If you love being active and out in the fresh air, there are plenty of ways you can combine both with helping your community

Read more
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Walking through the delightful valley of Elham is an absolute treat. Enter an oasis of peace and quiet with a whole array of shops and pubs in Elham at the end

Read more

With its unique landscape, rich history and strong cultural identity, we take a look at the Romney Marsh and the towns of Hythe and New Romney

Read more

Put away your digital devices and get back to nature with a few nights under canvas and the starry night skies this summer

Read more

This popular coastal town offers everything from wild walks and urban art to regenerated spaces

Read more

Expert conservation work carried out at Knole over the past two years now means that its attics are open to visit

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. Open for entries.

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