Glorious garden visits: there’s still time to book yours

This year’s calendar of special garden events and tours has been a huge success so far with our guests enjoying wonderful weather and glorious gardens. One of our recent event guests described their tour as “the perfect day whereby the head gardener brought the garden to life!”

Our garden tours and visits are often at exclusive locations that are not ordinarily open to the public. For all those who love gardens and gardening, our special events are an opportunity to both visit a beautiful garden and support the life changing work of Perennial. Whether you’re seeking inspiration for your own garden or want to pick up top tips from an expert in the field, it’s a memorable event for all.  

Chris Crooker, Events Manager at Perennial, says: 

“We have been spoiled so far this year with incredible sunshine and some truly memorable gardens and delicious lunches. Many of our 2018 events have now sold out but don’t worry, we still have great garden tours available and we’re already putting our 2019 calendar of events together. It’s set to be another vintage year, celebrating Perennial’s 180th anniversary.”

Garden tours still available in 2018 include: 

The Salutation Gardens, Wednesday 25 July 

The Salutation Gardens in Sandwich, Kent were designed in 1912 by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens as a country retreat for three wealthy brothers and in 1950 it became the first twentieth century building to be granted a Grade l listing. Head Gardener Steve Edney will be our tour guide talking guests through fascinating elements of the gardens including the architecturally sculpted shapes within the jungle garden and showcasing the largest private collection of Dahlias in the UK, with over 100 named varieties. 

The Arts and Crafts style gardens are a plant lover’s paradise spread over 3.7 acres and divided into a series of symmetrical ‘rooms’, each with a different purpose, gathered around a unifying theme. The effect is one of endlessly unfolding space, with wonderful surprises presented around each corner. The planting style is a dynamic infusion of old and new. The gardens reveal themselves sequentially through the seasons, and are constantly developing as long-term projects and drawing-board concepts come dramatically to life. After this, you will have a chance to reflect on these award-winning gardens over afternoon tea with a glass of prosecco!  

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Great Fosters, Tuesday 18 September 

Great Fosters is set amongst 50 acres of formal gardens and parkland. Originally designed by W H Romaine Walker and Gilbert Jenkins they are amongst the finest Arts and Crafts gardens in Europe. 

The formal gardens are framed on three sides by a Saxon moat which may be crossed by a Wisteria-clad Japanese bridge constructed from green oak.  Designed to reflect the intricate beauty of a Persian rug, the knot garden is embellished with fragrant beds of flowers and herbs bordered by manicured hedges and topiary. In the centre is the Drake sundial, which historians suggest may have been donated by Sir Francis Drake and is believed to date back to 1585. 

Since 1990, under the leadership of Kim Wilkie, the grounds have been extended, restored and enhanced, to create the stunning gardens in which the hotel now sits. A beautiful circular sunken rose garden with arches and pergolas encircle a lily pond. A lake, four ‘secret’ gardens and a majestic grassed amphitheatre at the end of the lime avenue complete one of England’s most outstanding Arts and Crafts movement gardens. In 2013 an apiary, a large glasshouse and kitchen garden, which supply the hotel with fresh produce were also created. 

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We would like to thank Challenge Fencing for sponsoring this year’s Perennial Special Events programme. Without the generous support of our annual sponsor it would not be possible to host such a varied and exclusive range of garden events.