The Secret Gardens of the South East

A Private Tour

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Pub Date 04 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 20 Oct 2022

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A tour of some of the UK’s most beguiling gardens in the counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey, the counties that exemplify ‘the garden of England’.

In these three counties a wealth of history and horticulture has combined with geography in the shape of rolling landscapes, wooded valleys and meandering waterways, to provide an attractive and fascinating collection.

They are in villages and towns, as well as in deep countryside, and all are privately owned. Some have been in the possession of the same family for many generations, while others have recently been transformed by new owners. Some open for the National Garden Scheme, while others are open privately and in some cases for just the occasional day for charity.

The stunning gardens explored in this visually rich guide include: Arundel Castle, Denmans, Gravetye Manor, Munstead Wood and Sussex Prairie Garden. The book also includes a gazetteer of other important gardens in the area with location advice, to enable readers to plan a more elaborate tour of this fertile garden area.

Filled with stunning, specially commissioned photographs by Clive Boursnell, Secret Gardens of the South East is a unique guide that opens the gates to the most intriguing gardens in this part of England.
A tour of some of the UK’s most beguiling gardens in the counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey, the counties that exemplify ‘the garden of England’.

In these three counties a wealth of history and...

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ISBN 9780711252608
PRICE $37.00 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

Choosing twenty stunning gardens from amongst hundreds in England must have been a difficult feat indeed. But Barbara Segall chose a wondrous variety from the South East which highlight the incomparable artistry of nature. Art, bits of history and architecture can enhance both formal and informal gardens, whether natural woodlands, succulent plots, herb plantings or secret gardens. Soil, climate and people (in particular relationships) affect what to and how to grow. Deceased greats such as Christopher Lloyd and Gertrude Jekyll are important details in this book, too.

Some gardens are inspired by travels, others by the bones of established gardens. As a master gardener visiting gardens in Europe is one of my favourite past times. This gorgeous book filled to the brim with glorious photography is so lovely that the photography instantly brings memories of my own travels to mind. A favourite of mine in this book include Gertrude Jekyll's Munsted Woods with its paths and rooms, fruit and vegetables. Walled Arundel Castle is resplendent with stunning mass plantings and Long Barn, first garden of Vita Sackville-West, includes unexpected secret rooms.

Many tips feature in conversations with the owners and gardeners such as including the wow factor, maintenance, sharp sheers, seasonal colour, the "no dig" policy and simplicity. Animal topiary and yew hedges always grab my attention and the examples shown are mind boggling. Who could resist the "Stumpery", rose gardens, Cloister Walk, Banqueting House Garden, Circle Pond, Italianate Sunk Garden, The Quadrangle, Hornbeam Walk and Birch Maze? Personal tidbits are included such as Jekyll's predilection for fig trees which I share! I love that the author includes photographs of the owners and gardeners and their gardens and future plans. Most privately-owned gardens in this book are large but a few smaller ones are described as many live in cities and on small farms. Thankfully many gardens are open to the public.

Whether you are an armchair gardener or like getting your green thumbs dirty, you will not regret reading and learning from The Secret Gardens of the South East. Regardless of the climate you live/garden in, there is a lot to enjoy.

My sincere thank you to Quarto Publishing Group - White Lion and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this inspiring book!

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