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 

Over 50 variations of summer roses create a carpet of colour in this tiny Kentish garden. Head Gardener Jon says, “Last July we weakened the grass and sowed more flower seeds. The work has helped increase the diversity of flora and improve the habitat for wildlife." Check in on progress on the new rose pergola, being restored to how it was in Ellen Terry's day.

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

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.

A pink standard 'cabbage' rose with the north face of Ightham Mote behind

Ightham Mote 

Discover hearty herbaceous borders and fabulous floral displays. Head Gardener Richard's team can't help but share the garden's best bits. “When summer comes we embrace the chance to take the outside in. The cutting garden sends its finest flowers for display in the house and the vegetable plot supplies the café."

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.