Saturday, 11 August 2012
I've been seeing signposts pointing to somewhere called Salutation Gardens for a few years now and only vaguely wondered what and where that was. It sounds to me either like some sort of memorial garden or the gardens of a pub.
I finally looked it up and found that it's in sandwich, on Knightrider Road. Knightrider? Is it a joke? But no, road names are like that in Sandwich. Past Breezy Corner and just before you get to Hogs Corner you reach the Salutation Gardens.
Strictly speaking it is called the Secret Gardens of Sandwich. They are the restored gardens of Lutyens mansion called Salutation. The mansion was built during 1911-12 and the gardens were designed in the style of Gertrude Jekyll.
Edwin Lutyens was a British architect who designed a large number of English country houses. He met the garden designer Gertrude Jekyll when he was working on his first commission and that was the start of a long partnership between them.
Jekyll designed gardens, about 400 of them, full of herbaceous borders, a more natural effect than the more formal geometric Victorian garden fashionable until then. They were designed to have "unexpected views and pictorial surprises".
Well, the gardens were a surprise to me. This is right in the middle of Sandwich, behind high walls. I had no idea anything like this existed there. A 3.5 acre oasis of greenery with colours as an added extra.
The way in.
The house is now used for bed and breakfast accommodation.
The white garden which was once used as a herb garden. It still has little hedges around the beds and I'm happy to see they are no tidier than mine.
The yellow garden. This was the yellowest part. Much of the rest verged on orange and even red but maybe it's yellower in the spring time.
This is the sort of vegetable garden I always dreamt of in the days when I had such a thing. It never looked like this but I didn't have 4 gardeners.
I did have rabbits but they didn't take their guard duties as seriously.
Extended shelf life pumpkins, the best sort to grow.
A very pretty place and well worth spending a couple of hours there. And yes, it does have a tea-room and they do sell good cakes.