Edwardes Square & Kensington Palace Sunken Garden
The tour will start at one of London’s most beautiful private garden oases, Edwardes Square. This late Georgian Grade II* listed square is over 200 years old and was laid out in 1819/20. It boasts a wonderful mixture of rolling lawns, mature trees, serpentine paths and imaginative planting, as well as a beautiful wrought iron rose arbour.
Considered unusually informal for its time, its winding paths survive to this day. With an outer perimeter in the style of a woodland walk, wide paths meander through the centre. The Square’s most unique feature is ‘The Temple’- a classical Greek style garden lodge built in 1820, now home to Head Gardener David Magson. David, formerly Head Gardener at Highgrove, will lead our guests on a forty-five-minute tour and guests will have free time to explore at their leisure and pose any lingering questions to David, who has also worked at Hidcote Manor and Ness Botanic Garden.
After a 15min walk, guests will be treated to a two-course lunch with wine and tea or coffee at the five-star Royal Garden Hotel near Kensington Palace.
Following lunch, the tour continues with a guided walk around the Kensington Palace Sunken Garden (normally locked), led by Gardens Team Manager Sean Harkin. The Sunken Garden was planted in 1908, transforming part of the gardens previously occupied by potting sheds into a tranquil ornamental garden of classical proportions. It was modelled on a similar garden at Hampton Court Palace and celebrated a style of gardening seen in the 18th century. The garden is terraced with paving and ornamental flower beds, surrounding an ornamental pond with fountains formed from reused 18th century water cisterns retrieved from the palace. The Cradle Walk, an arched arbour of red-twigged lime, surrounds the Sunken Garden with arched viewpoints equally spaced along the sides. In the summer, this shady tunnel provides the perfect place to view the tranquillity of the Sunken Garden to the north or the re-landscaped formal gardens to the south.
Edwardes Squares photos © David Magson