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. god­in­ton­ 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

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