Friday, 21 June 2013

Marle Place Gardens in Kent

One day this week, after a lovely pub lunch with my husband ( a rare treat), we took ourselves off to Marle Place Gardens in Brenchley, Kent, just a few lanes away from where we live.

Despite having lived here for nearly three years, it's the first time we've visited.
Isn't that just the way - we tend to not always go to what is right on our doorstep!

Using our "two for one" card from the BBC Gardener's World magazine, we only paid £6 entry.

We were amazed and delighted by the beautiful gardens and woodlands, and having the place virtually to ourselves ( we didn't come across any other visitors for over an hour!) we were able to pretend it was all ours, and to try to imagine what it must be like to live somewhere as gracious and beautiful as here.

Warning - lots of photos!!!!!

At the start of the garden tour, there is a place for sitting and enjoying morning coffee or afternoon tea during your visit - but do take cash (no cards accepted ) for entry, the tearoom, plant sales and quaint shop!

There is also an art gallery with works of art for sale.

Then on to the gardens! 

Cistus - one of my favourite plants for the garden, being beautiful, reliable and evergreen.



There are statues and works of art throughout the gardens in unexpected places


love this unusual gorgeous palest blue double Aquilegia (also known as Columbine or Granny's Bonnet)




you can cross a bridge and walk through the woods and orchards surrounding the gardens, then come back again over a grass bridge

these were the only "people" we saw in the first give you some idea of scale, they were taller than  me


beautiful vistas

an unusual and very personal bench to commemorate a birthday



just loved these beautiful primulas..... the oranges, pinks and peach colours were glorious


the gardens have  a very friendly and homely feel to them (look at that lovely swing!), and there is a small sand pit and child sized seats in the woodland areas of the grounds - you can picnic in the areas of long grass and woodlands

can just imagine tea (or drinks!) on the terrace under the wisteria - how wonderful to have grown up in a house like this!

The house is a c17th Jacobean house, but not open to the public, and has the classic timber construction and traditional Kent peg tiles of this area.

surrounding the glorious main sweep of lawn were several gardens within gardens, like rooms off a grand hall.

The Italianate garden was one of them.

In this garden there is a plaque in memory of Phyllis McEwan, wife of Victor Canning, a prolific writer of novels and thillers in the 50s,60s and 70s. After his success with The Golden Salamander, made into a film starring Trevor Howard, he bought Marle Place and lived here for 20 years. His daughter still lives here (according to wikipedia).

 unusual works of art

Leaving the Italianate garden up these steps and arches, you step into the swimming pool garden.

and then up the steps for a game of croquet!

an unusual gazebo with gorgeous stained glass windows and mosaic tiled floor, seats to sit on,
the croquet mallets are stored in here, as well as an amazing technicolour boat shaped kite (at least I think that's what it was!)

anyone for tennis?
just off the main sweep of lawn on the other side from the pool, is the grass tennis court.

Yes, I really could live here....................with family and friends around, morning coffee on the terrace, a stroll around the gardens, a leisurely game of tennis...maybe a swim in the pool to cool off before lunch. Lunch on the terrace, a game of croquet, tea on the lawn in the shade of the enormous tree with the swing, then more tennis........cocktails, a dinner party..........

this "room" near the tennis court was a surprise ......... amazing mosaic terrace and steps leading up to a pretty gate (which I think went into the tennis court...)

made from old china plates, ornaments and tiles by the looks of it

the beautiful mosaic garden was one of my favourite parts of the gardens

a yellow bench on which to sit to admire it


Pretty red gates! To keep the rabbits and foxes out I presume - both veggies and hens within!

 large, enclosed kitchen gardens and potager

a beautifully restored greenhouse

containing a collection of Orchids

vintage watering cans................

.......and then the battery of my camera ran out! ( Thank Heavens, I hear you cry.........!)

Still, I took so many photos ( of which you have seen quite a few - well done if you made it this far! ) and I know we'll go back often now we know how beautiful it is.

Thankyou for bearing with me!

If you are in the area, or if you live within an hour or so's drive, it is well worth a visit - the pubs in Matfield and Brenchley nearby are good for lunch too!

Posted by Picasa


  1. Wow what a garden and loved looking through your photos. Looks like a must visit. I especially liked the photos of the swing and the walled garden, just lovely x

  2. What an incredibly beautiful garden and home.....those stairs...Heidi

  3. Thank you Gill for taking us with you on your day out. What a beautiful place, so many things I love, the little primula , the terrace with the wisteria, a croquet lawn and those amazing alliums! Yes I think I could live there too! :)
    Happy weekend.
    V xxx

  4. Wow, it's amazing. I love going round gardens when they're empty, it's such a treat.

  5. Oh Gill, if I dream of paradise, it must be certainly like this!So lush and all those flowers and garden arrangement and these old English buildings,just a wonderful post!I really enjoyed it so much!
    Wishes for a nice weekend!

  6. Completely and utterly stunning.
    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful place with us.
    It's not somewhere I suspect I will ever visit, but loved my virtual tour.
    If you do move in perhaps you could have a bloggers party under that wisteria, I'll bring Pimms!
    Lisa x

  7. Unbelievable so beautiful! Its a pity that I live so far away! thansk for let us walk with you through the garden.

  8. wow very lovely and nice photo s and lovely pretty gardens
    now I know where I will go on holiday next summer very pretty
    south england kent thank you for sharing this and a lovely evening

  9. What a lovely day out and your photos are gorgeous.
    M x

  10. What a very pretty garden it is Gill! Another one for my wish list. Love the field with the aliums. Such a beautiful sight.

    Wishing you a happy weekend!

    Madelief x

  11. Wow! Amazing place. And how lucky to be there on your own. Thanks so much for sharing - I really enjoyed my visit! Abby x

  12. gorgeous! thanks for taking the time to download all those photos, I feel as if I have been there myself now.

  13. What a stunningly beautiful place. Incredible gardens, I bet that was a wonderful day out. x

  14. What a beautiful place, stunning photos, thank you for sharing :) xx

  15. Hello Gillian

    What a fabulous garden. I love the unexpected and the statuary adds an element of mystery. The mosaic garden is truly spectacular and I love the mixture of tile and pottery that they used.

    Thanks for all the wonderful photos.


  16. Oh WOW, what a most beautiful place to visit. Thank you so much for sharing your photos.
    Anne xx

  17. That was great!! I love the swing and the yellow bench, and the ponds and.....all of it!

  18. What a beautiful place, definitely something for everyone there. A shame I'm so far away, I would love to visit.

  19. I loved all your photos, Gill! The gardens are beautiful, and the house looks so lovely set amongst them....and like you I could imagine living there!
    Hope you're having a great weekend.
    Helen x

  20. Hello Gill
    I came to the end of these wonderful photos far too soon! What a gift to be able to enjoy this garden everyday. There are so many nooks and crooks that I imagine one thinks,as you walk, what's around the next corner.
    These images bring to mind Kipling's quote:..

    -Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
    By singing: -"Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade.-

    because a lot of work and surely love has gone into the creation of these beautiful gardens

    keep well

    Amanda xx

  21. Oooh garden envy is a terribly painful thing and i'm suffering :)

    Jean x

  22. Good Afternoon Gill, It's nice to meet you. I found your blog when visiting another friend's blog and decided to pop over and pay you a visit. I am so pleased I did as Marle Place looks a wonderful place to visit. The gardens are spectacular. I love the planting of the Primulas with the Hostas in the background. I adore the planted arches as you leave the Italianate Garden, and the Mosaics, well, just fabulous.
    I have added this to my list of gardens to visit as it is so lovely.
    Gill, I have enjoyed my visit and I have become a new follower.
    I would like to invite you to visit me at Ivy, Phyllis and Me! when you have the time.
    Best Wishes from Northumberland,

  23. It was no trouble 'bearing with you'! What a gorgeous place. I love old red brick houses and even better a red brick walled garden like that one. Sounds like a fab day out. xCathy

  24. Thank you for taking us all on such a beautiful tour. My favourite part was the gorgeous summer house where the croquet mallets are kept. I could spend a lot of time in a place like that!
    Best wishes.

  25. Beautiful photographs Gill!..I've been dreaming with you as I viewed each one...I would definitely love to visit it one day and the house is simply stunning too...How wonderful to have it almost to yourself on your visit!
    Happy Weekend,
    Susan x

  26. Oh, that's dreamy! There's something gorgeous everywhere you look. :)

  27. Pub lunch and then this visit to the gardens; this place has it all including a bit of whimsy. I am glad you are on bloglovin, I just added a button for it. Are you going to visit these gardens once a month? Fabulous.

  28. it looks such a perfect place Gill could imagine Miss Marple dropping in for afternoon tea!

  29. looks beautiful - fab photos!!!

  30. What an absolutely fabulous place and such a treat to have it virtually on your doorstep. I'd be re-visiting that through the seasons to see the changes. Suzy x

  31. It's stunningly beautiful, all of it...thank you for taking us on this tour & your wonderful artistic photos. I've said it before...England must be as close to what heaven looks like as you can get.

  32. I have never been here. I love gardens with the old red brick walls. I have got some pots in that old brick colour. Sally :)

  33. Hello Gill, isn't it amazing the things under our noses are often some of the best. Marle Place looks wonderful. Such a lot of different areas to see. You really would feel very cosseted and secure living in such a wonderful place. I really love Jacobean houses, they are so interesting, it is a shame you can't see around some of it at least. Still, you can't blame Trevor Howard's daughter for wanting her privacy.
    Have a wonderful holiday Gill, and thanks for your lovely comments. Love Linda x


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x