Restored gardens ready to show their glory again
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Spring is, hopefully, in the air at Godinton House with the historic mansion’s splendid gardens reopening after the winter break next week.
Twenty years is a long time in gardening but at Godinton, in Godinton Lane, Ashford, those years have flown by.
In 1996, after the death of Major Alan Wyndham Green – the house’s last owner – work began on delivering the plans he had set out for the restoration of the house and gardens.
The devastating storms of 1987 and the major disruption caused by extensive building work in 1997 and 1998 are now just distant memories, with the garden now among the best-known in Kent.
In 1991 Major Wyndham-Green established the Godinton House Preservation Trust and since his death the trust has continued to preserve, restore, and enhance the house and parklands.
They now feature mature shrubs and herbaceous planting, a completely revitalised walled garden that is home to the famous delphinium collec- tion, ably supported by irises, and a range of cutting flowers, vegetables and fruit.
A new greenhouse, built in 2000 as a result of millennium funding, is a hive of activity, contain- ing a backdrop of peaches, semitropical climbers and wafts of exotic perfumes.
Sloping to a naturalised pond, the wild flower garden is always full of spring daffodils and nar- cissi at this time of year and also contains anemones, crocus, a vast number of snake head fritillaries and even orchids.
The great formal yew hedge was cut back to the bare bones some time ago but now holds crisp symmetry, reflecting the gables of the house, and smartly encloses Reginald Bloomfield’s first garden, commissioned at the property in 1897.
Here there are lawns, topiary, statues and gravel paths giving a formal contrast to the borders, rose garden and climbers.
Visitors can purchase plants grown at Godinton and enjoy teas and homemade cakes.
The gardens are open daily from next Monday until November 1, from 1pm to 6pm.
The house is open to the public for tours on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from 1pm with the last tour at 4pm.
For more information visit www. godintonhouse.co.uk or call 01233 643854. 1 2 3 4 5 Adele – Hello Fleur East – Sax Olly Murs – Kiss Me Little Mix – Love Me Like You Coldplay – Adventure Of A Lifetime
The giant wisteria in the gardens of Ashford’s Godinton House