Gardens to rule them all
Discover an incredible expanse of gardens that both hark back to a gloriously regal England and promise an experience of the exotic, all within the grounds of Leeds Castle
ver the past three years, Leeds Castle head gardener Andrew McCoryn has been working on a vision to bring the gardens back to their true potential. He wanted them to burst with year- round colour, display flora and fauna from all around the world and introduce visitors to the contrasting gardens across the estate.
The 12th- century moated Leeds Castle is set within 500 acres of beautiful grounds in the heart of Kent – the county described as the garden of England. Last year, the Leeds Castle gardeners developed the Castle Island Gardens to create an ancient feel, with traditional flowers such as magnolias, roses and lavenders in creams and white. By contrast, the Barbican Mill rockery boasts flora and fauna from all corners of the world, with Turkish bulbs and Australian tree ferns.
The Culpeper Garden has an informal layout and low box hedges as a border featuring roses, lupins and poppies to create a profusion of colour and scent. This traditional English cottage garden was designed in 1980 by garden designer Russell Page.
The Lady Baillie Mediterranean Garden is head gardener Andrew McCoryn’s ‘ must- visit’ garden for visitors: “We’ve introduced more palm trees, bananas and cacti along a 300 metre- long border. The Lady Baillie garden is the Castle’s hidden gem and has a warm south- facing aspect with superb views across the Great Water.”
Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent, just off Junction 8 of the M20 and within easy reach of London. Grounds open at 10am daily.