Hooray - the bluebells are starting to pop up, meaning they'll be blankets of them throughout the woodlands within the next couple of days. There are lots of places locally to see bluebells, including Happy Valley, Caterham viewpoint and the woods in Godstone.
We're planning a visit to Hole Park Gardens in Kent this weekend, it's often described as one of the best places to see bluebells in the country, Hole Park Gardens in Rolvenden, Kent, is also renowned for its mature rhododendrons and magnificent standard wisterias.
New for 2015 visitors to Hole Park Gardens can also enjoy the results of a large bulb planting programme which took place in the autumn. The very dark purple tulips ‘Queen of the Night’ will make a striking new addition to the rose garden and long borders in May. Small Narcissus have also been added on the fountain lawn and Crocus including ‘Pickwick’ have been planted under the lime tree on the east lawn. The delightful spires and star-shaped flowers of ‘Camassia’ will provide additional summer colour in the policy area. The herbaceous borders have also been planted with Asters, Chrysanthemums and Geums to widen the season of interest.
The Bluebell Barometer will remain a feature on the website to provide regular updates on when the bluebells are expected to be at their peak.
Visitors to the gardens in late April and early May will be captivated by the spectacular displays of bluebells which can be seen in the gardens and woodland. The seating on the circular bluebell walk offers visitors a quiet time to reflect and enjoy the intense carpet of blue and the early flowering rhododendrons. The restored Ice House is an interesting stopping point for visitors on the bluebell walk. Visitors at this time of year can also enjoy walking through the swathes of narcissi and the wild flower meadows with primroses and fritillaries and later wild orchids.
In summer visitors can look forward to the scented roses and colourful herbaceous borders and later see the exotic border with its vivid colours and exotic blooms.
Hole Park is a family owned estate which has been in the Barham family for the past four generations. Formalised gardens combine with natural woodland (16 acres of gardens and 10 acres of woodland). These extensive gardens were developed, laid out and planted by Colonel Barham, the great-grandfather of the present owners in the years between the two World Wars. The present owners Edward and Clare Barham have created new features around the gardens including an exotic border for late summer and early autumn interest. The recently renovated sundial garden with its pretty mosaic path has been planted for a long flowering season and alliums are a striking new feature of the camellia walk.
Light lunches and delicious homemade teas are available in the coach house on all openings. Apple juice and beer brewed on the farm and homemade jam and honey produced from the fruit and bees on the Hole Park Estate can be purchased. A plant stall will also be open throughout spring.
Hole Park Garden opening dates for 2015
All openings 11am to 6pm
Spring: Saturday 14 March – Sunday 7 June – Open daily (Including renowned bluebell season late April/early May)
Summer: 10 June to 31 October - Wednesdays & Thursdays
Autumn Sundays: 4, 11, 18 & 25 October
4 – 6 June – Wealden Times Midsummer Fair. Separate entry arrangements apply.
Groups: Group visits are available on any date. Conducted tours of the gardens by the Owner or Head Gardener by prior arrangement.
Admission: Adults £7.00 Children £1
For more information visit www.holepark.com or telephone 01580 241344/241386.
Hole Park is situated 4 miles west of Tenterden on the B2086 between Rolvenden and Benenden.
Bluebell picture copyright of Pennington PR