Glorious summer gardens in Kent

From traditional rose beds at Chartwell, to curated clouds of azaleas at Scotney, our gardens are filled with vibrant colours, scented displays and relaxing spaces. Kent's Head Gardeners reveal their top tips to enjoy the best of the beds this summer. Find out what’s new, and bring back some inspiration for your own garden. Every time you wander among the blooms, you help us plant new varieties for next year.

Smallhythe Place wild flowers

Smallhythe Place 

The air is thick with the scent of roses at Smallhythe Place. Head Gardener Guy says, “The flowering boughs of Rosa Phyllis Bide, our iconic climbing rose, arch over the front of the house forming the romantic ideal of an old Kentish home. Roses feature in the beds around the house too, along with classic English herbaceous planting designed with wildlife in mind”. Roam further afield and wild flowers carpet the ground beneath ancient orchard trees and the garden gives way to a bucolic borderland between marsh and hills.

A secluded bench in the gardens at Quebec House in Westerham, Kent

Quebec House 

Long blooming flowers in the Coach House cutting border frame the garden. Pleached Limes and timeless rose varieties hark back to General Wolfe’s day. Gardener Claire says, "I love the intimacy and calm atmosphere of the garden, right in the heart of Westerham". Pause awhile on a secluded bench in the sunshine.

Lady Churchill's Pink Rose Garden at Chartwell


Sir Winston Churchill’s family home is alive with colour. Head Gardener Tim says, “Make sure not to miss blooming lilies and majestic weigela. The technicolour sweat peas are a particular treat". The majestic Golden Rose Avenue is also in its prime. Fifty varieties of rose total in excess of four hundred individual blooms.

The summer herbacious border is blooming, and climbing roses adorn the rustic archways

Ightham Mote 

Discover glorious herbaceous borders and fabulous floral displays in the gardens at Ightham Mote this summer. Head Gardener Richard shares the garden’s highlights, "Summer heralds a kaleidoscope of colour throughout the garden. From the Cutting Garden, with its sweet peas and scented lavender, to the array of blooms in the stable courtyard and the wildflower meadow in the orchard, to the cooling waters of our ponds, fountain and cascade, there is something to catch the eye at every turn."

Hydrangea in bloom in August at Emmetts Garden, a National Trust property in Kent

Emmetts Garden 

Wildflowers in the meadow are a riot of colour among the long grasses. The beds across the garden burst with buds of magnolia, azalea and rhododendron around every corner. Head Gardener Matt recommends a trip to the North Garden. “Spot the unusual wedding cake tree and chat to our team about their work to restore the water features.”

The garden in spring at Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle 

The walled garden is stocked with fruit trees and velvety roses, as wisteria and old English roses adorn its sandstone walls. Surrounding herbaceous beds throw out new colours along the winding pathways. Garden and Estate Manager Paul caters to all tastes. "There's something for everyone. From the more formal areas around the castle, to wild flower meadows on the outer edges."

The White Garden in July at Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

Sissinghurst Castle Garden 

In the White Garden, rosa mulliganii cascades over the central arbour with thousands of white, scented blooms. "Look out for the new quince trees we've planted here" says Head Gardener Troy. Meanwhile the Cottage Garden is a carpet of colour, and newly planted meadows on the estate are coming into their own.