WILDLIFE HAVEN

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - COUNTRYFILE -

GAR­DENS of the house, which was orig­i­nally part of the East­well Es­tate, were laid out nearly 70 years ago and con­tain many rare and un­usual trees. They in­clude the tallest eu­cryphia in Kent, a col­lec­tion of more than 80 va­ri­eties of ac­ers, rhod­e­den­drums and aza­leas, plus nu­mer­ous firs, oaks and pines. They are en­hanced by is­land beds, climb­ing roses and many va­ri­eties of hy­drangeas that to­gether pro­vide a haven for wildlife and a gar­den full of bird­song. The me­an­der­ing paths, with well-stocked herba­ceous borders, are alive with but­ter­flies and bees. The pond was orig­i­nally dug as a drink­ing trough for horses and the nearby dell was mined for chalk but leg­end says it was an arena for cock-fight­ing – al­though the rare-breed poul­try cur­rently on show are far more friendly.

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