Anyone who has been following me for a while may have picked up on the fact that I am a keen fan of Sir Edwin Lutyens (architect) and Gertrude Jekyll (garden designer) names synonymous with the creation of the English Country Garden style. When I was in East Kent some years ago and heard about the secret gardens of Sandwich I was intrigued.
The Secret Gardens of Sandwich are encircled by the old stone city walls and within this plot is a Grade I manor house, the Salutations, designed by Lutyens in 1911 and now a luxury hotel. He also created the gardens with the help of Jekyll and, although neglected for many years, it has been wonderfully restored and is open to the public.
Typical of of a Lutyens and Jekyll garden you will find brick paths and herbaceous borders planted with lilies, lupins and lavenders, “rooms” with their own character and plenty of visual surprises and unexpected views.
My visit was in early September when the main highlight was the dahlias – from small delicate patio flowers to huge full-blown dinner plates.