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Hole Park Gardens

Hole Park Gardens
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Description
SUMMER AT HOLE PARK GARDENS


Tucked away in the Weald of Kent, between the pretty village of Rolvenden and the equally attractive town of Cranbrook, lies Hole Park Gardens. An attractively laid out, privately owned 15 acre garden, Hole Park is often referred to as a hidden gem, but it is as worthy of mention as the nearby, more well-known and therefore often crowded gardens of Sissinghurst and Great Dixter.

Hole Park is set in over 200 acres of superb classic parkland and the gardens make the most of far reaching views over the hills, woods and fields of the picturesque Kentish Weald. A skilful mix of formal design and more naturalised planting also incorporates colour for all seasons and has many features of interest.

Immaculately trimmed yew hedges, many with geometric topiary shapes, surround much of the formal gardens, creating a strong backdrop to Italianate and walled gardens where soft golden gravel paths are lined by overflowing herbaceous borders, and statues and elaborate planted urns create a visual standpoint. Mellow brick walls with elegant wrought iron gates lead from lawns to rose gardens, while water plays a part throughout, from the formal Italian pond visible at the front of the house, through to the discreetly hedged swimming pool and on to the natural ponds.

Colour is important, too: a blue border coolly lines a long straight gravel path, while hot yellows and oranges in the tropical border complement the brick walls behind. The vineyard, a semi-circular garden, offers a pleasing palette where the rich mauves of the unusual and impressive standard wisterias are offset by lush pink hydrangeas and profusely flowering white clematis running along the inner colonnade.

Step out of the formal areas into a different world, where grass or bark paths meander through woodland dells or alongside a bog garden fed by a little stream. Shady ambles lend tranquility to the scenery and visitors can admire the banks of massed azaleas and rhododendrons as they continue to put on a vibrant showing after their early summer peak.

As well as its regular opening times, Hole Park also opens for special events such as charity open days. June sees two such events – the first of which allows visitors to enjoy the gardens in the evening after the gates would normally shut. ‘Wine in the Garden’ on Wednesday 13 June (5pm-8pm) is in aid of the National Garden Scheme and admission includes a complimentary glass of wine – soothe away the cares of the working day by relaxing in this beautiful setting. Alternatively, visit on Sunday 24 June when the proceeds are again donated to the National Garden Scheme and you’ll find at least 15 plant stalls, including that of Head Gardener Quentin Stark, offering their wares.

A sense of calm and unhurried pleasure pervades Hole Park and makes an afternoon out truly enjoyable. While the crowds enter on their timed tickets and press on each others’ heels at some of Kent’s gardens, garden lovers here have time to stop and admire the many delightful features and aspects and finish with tea and homemade cakes, too. New for this year is the plant stall which will allow visitors to buy some of the plants which appear in the gardens.


What more pleasant way is there of passing a summer afternoon?


For more information visit www.holepark.com or telephone 01580 241 344/241386



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