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

Gardens Illustrated Magazine - - Dig In Plantsman’s Favourites - FOR MORE IN­FOR­MA­TION, VISIT LEEDS-CAS­TLE. COM OR CALL 01622765400

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.

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