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  • Writer's pictureJanice Gill

Emmetts Garden - Sevenoaks, Kent

Updated: Jul 27, 2023


Blue cornflowers grow in profusion in tall grasses.
Cornflowers follow Tulips by Janice Gill

Emmetts Garden is a National Trust-owned and managed property near Sevenoaks in Kent.


Created as a garden to be enjoyed by the Lubbock Family, it reflects their interests and priorities, particularly a love of nature and plants. Many of the specimen plants were brought from around the world by Frederick Lubbock and given prominence in the South Garden. However, he never forgot the needs of his children and, subsequently, grandchildren for space to play and learn.


Unlike earlier High Victorian gardens, formal plantings are relaxed and full of colour and scent. The Rock garden tumbles with plants alongside tiny rivulets with a combination of wild and introduced plantings. Cambrian poppies pop up between Azaleas, and Foxgloves keep watch over London's pride. The tiny Lily Pond adds a touch of stillness.


A small corner of the rock garden with alpine plants, azaleae, ferns and a tiny waterfall feature.
A small corner of the Rock Garden by Janice Gill

The Rose Garden is the most formal part of Emmetts, with a beautiful walk through a pergola garlanded with scented roses. A fountain at the centre of the quartered semicircle provides a traditional focus.


As you progress, the gardens take on a relaxed nature with shrubbery and water features before reaching the Old Stables Tea Room and the Wild Play area. Play areas have become a much more common part of National Trust gardens as they encourage families to visit. Lubbock would have approved, as photographs of his children building teepees attest.


From here, there are several walks that can be followed, including through the wooded area, which is carpeted with bluebells in the spring. The woodland walk is a natural path, so access is limited and includes steps.



Pink Mountain Laurel flowers with Midget Gem like buds.
Mountain Laurel by Janice Gill


Going back down the path from the Old Stables, the South garden is on the left. This is the area where most of the exotic trees collected by Lubbock are found, including the Dove Tree, Burnt Toffee Tree, Persian Silk Tree and a whole host of Maples and Pines.


As you continue around the path, you come out below the formal gardens into the tulip meadow and wildflower meadow. The tulips were over at the time we visited, but there was a profusion of Cornflowers in the traditional blue. There were plenty of pollinators enjoying the bounty across the whole area.



bumblebee getting nectar from a blue cornflower.
Bumblebee on cornflower by Janice Gill

As you continue around the path, you come out below the formal gardens into the tulip meadow and wildflower meadow. The tulips were over at the time we visited, but there was a profusion of Cornflowers in the traditional blue. There were plenty of pollinators enjoying the bounty across the whole area.


The wildflower area morphed into a picnic and games area with traditional equipment, such as Skittles, provided for free at the toy shed. Deckchairs are also provided for those just wanting to relax.


The main paths at Emmett's are solid and can be accessed by all. However, there are steps into the Rose Garden and the top of the Rock Garden, plus the natural paths of the woodland walk don't facilitate the use of a wheelchair. The whole garden slopes around the hillside but isn't too steep for a leisurely stroll. There are mobility scooters available to hire at the visitor centre if slopes are a challenge.











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4 Comments


Guest
Jul 21, 2023

Oh, wow! those flowers are SO lovely! A stroll among the beautiful flowers, followed by tea at the tea room? Sounds perfect! - Jeanine

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Guest
Jul 21, 2023

Such a beautiful place! I have never been to the UK, so it is nice to get your perspective. I had to look up Skittles sport, as I am from USA and that is a popular candy here. I asked my parents if they knew what it was and they had no idea. We all learned something new today thank you! About five years ago, we visited Victorian gardens at Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It was my first time seeing anything like it. I can hardly wait to explore all the fabulous gardens around the world! Much gratitude for sharing. Sending love.

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cindyraefancherart
Jul 21, 2023

What a beautiful place, I would love to spend time there! Thank you for sharing with your words and lovely photos! Cindy Rae

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Guest
Jul 21, 2023

I love flowers and would love to visit this garden.

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