The Secret Gardens
The Secret Gardens were officially opened in 2007 by Gardener’s World host Monty Don and have since gone from strength to strength. Since the current owners took over in 2004 The Secret Gardens have gone through an extraordinary metamorphosis. The garden was in a total state of neglect; where the charming White Garden stands was once a pile of rubble and the Holm Oak Walk was totally shapeless and overgrown.
Whilst the spirit and style of the original garden has been largely captured, several more modern features have been added such as the Tropical Border. The plants which grow in this sheltered section would simply not have been able to cope with the colder climate back in 1911. Within this area you will find the Wollemi Pine, an incredibly rare plant dating back to the Jurassic period, which is now part of a global conservation project to boost its numbers. Its rarity notwithstanding the plant has established itself well at The Secret Gardens.
Lake Patricia was added to the Gardens during the seventies. The island can be reached by a small bridge and is a remarkably tranquil place to sit and meditate on the beautiful surroundings. Future plans for this area include the planting of several species of flowering trees and the planting of roses to grow up the large circular arbour to create a flowering canopy.
A leisurely stroll through the beautiful Secret Gardens is certainly a pleasant way to spend a few hours. Some visitors simply want to soak up the atmosphere of peace and tranquillity, others pause by each sign to read up on the individual area and there are those who want a much more indepth experience.
Head gardener Steve Edney will take you on an audio tour around the gardens explaining in detail about their history, talk through the restoration process and elaborate on the planting of each area. Our audio tours will enhance any day out at the Secret Gardens of Sandwich, and we’re sure you will come away entertained, enlightened and satisfied that you have got the most out of your visit.
Tours take between 1.5 and 2 hours and cost £11 per person during the day and £14 per person after hours. Prices are inclusive of garden entry, are for groups of 10 or more and need to be booked in advance.