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The garden at Emmetts Garden

The bluebell bank at Emmett Garden in Kent, in full bloom
Bluebells at Emmetts Garden | © National Trust Images/David Sellman

With different areas of the garden, and far-reaching views, there’s always something new to see here. This Edwardian garden has plenty of secrets to reveal including a Rose Garden, Rock Garden and water features.

Spring at Emmetts Garden

Emmetts Garden is renowned for its marvellous spring colour each year, from the sea of English native bluebells to the 80 species of rhododendron. Around every corner the beautiful blooms are filling the air with sweet scents and blushes of colour.

The tulip meadow is a spectacle of spring colour with up to 7,000 bulbs planted every year. The tulips sit underneath the beautiful cherry blossom trees in a display of red, pink and black. Tulips also bloom in the Rock Garden, where other smaller flowers, including the pasque, are also coming into colour.

Seek out the handkerchief tree, which is named for the drooping white bracts that come out in late spring and give the appearance of hanging handkerchiefs.

Bluebells at Emmetts Garden

Spotting bluebells is one of the best things about a spring walk and Emmetts Garden doesn't disappoint for this. The woods have even been designated a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) due to the English native bluebells that bloom here.

Every year the hillside is smothered with the nation's favourite wild flower, creating a truly beautiful spectacle. Please take care to stay on the paths to avoid damaging the flowers; each damaged bluebell takes between four and six years to regrow.

Bluebell season is very popular at Emmetts Garden and car parking space can be very limited, particularly at weekends. For a calmer experience you may wish to visit on a week day.

Seasonal highlights

A taste of spring at Emmetts Garden

Pink, red and purple tulips in the Tulip Meadow at Emmetts Garden in Kent
The Tulip Meadow in bloom | © National Trust Images / Sam Milling

The tulip meadow

The tulips at Emmetts Garden are a sight to behold, with thousands of blooms spreading colour and joy.

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Discover the different parts of Emmetts Garden

The Rose Garden

The Italianate rose garden, with its abundance of pink and white blooms, is the only formal part of the garden at Emmetts.

Look out for the pink Octavia Hill roses as you step down into the garden; named after a founding member of the National Trust, these were planted in 2012 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of her passing.

Moving around the fountain you’ll discover a border bursting with English Miss roses. This border was recently replanted with the same varieties chosen for this space by the garden’s founder.

Just some of the other varieties of roses on show are the dainty rosa bonica and the fragrant rosa Katherine Zeimet.

The Rock Garden in autumn at Emmetts Garden in Kent with stone path, rockery and planting
The Rock Garden in autumn at Emmetts Garden | © National Trust Images/Kate Dickinson

The Rock Garden

One of the first major areas of the garden that you come to is the Rock Garden. This garden is home to a wonderful variety of alpines and English hardy species, alongside a lily pond. Winding paths allow you to explore this unique part of the garden.

The North Garden

Discover splashes of colour along the winding paths as you explore this garden. You won’t be able to miss the Wedding Cake tree, whose unusual branches grow in horizontal tiers and resemble the structure of a wedding cake.

The South Garden

This part of the garden is home to an impressive collection of hardy exotic trees and shrubs, including four handkerchief, or dove, trees. These are named for their white blooms, which have the appearance of fluttering dove wings or handkerchiefs hanging down from the branches. One of the handkerchief trees is an original specimen, dating back more than a hundred years.

The Discovery Cabin

Make your way through Emmetts Garden to the Discovery Cabin to pick up a potted history of this special place. Inside you’ll find quotes, memories and digital replicas of black and white photography from the garden’s early days.

Views for miles

Sitting on one of the highest points in the Weald of Kent comes with the bonus of some incredible far-reaching views.

Take a seat on one of the many strategically placed benches and watch the world go by. There's always something to see, no matter which season it is.

A view down a paved pathway with a rose covered pergola overhead, covered in pale pink roses, and two white benches facing the sun

Discover more at Emmetts Garden

Find out when Emmetts Garden is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Family days out at Emmetts Garden 

Enjoy family-friendly fun and outdoor play in the fresh air at Emmetts Garden, all set against a backdrop of glorious Edwardian garden, on one of the highest points of the Kentish Weald.

Afternoon tea laid out on a dark wooden table in the tea-room at Emmetts Garden in Kent with a plate of scones, jam, cream, a slice of cake, tea cups and a teapot

Eating and shopping at Emmetts Garden 

Stop for refreshments at the Old Stables Tea Room, with indoor and outdoor seating. In the shop you'll find seasonal ranges for the home and garden, local products and peat-free plants.

A black and white archive image of a garden party at Emmetts Garden in Kent, possibly taken during the Lubbocks' era. Guests are wearing Edwardian clothing.

History of Emmetts Garden 

Discover the history behind Emmetts Garden where Frederic Lubbock displayed his rare and international plant collection.

A garden volunteer kneeling in the lower Alpine area at Emmetts Garden in Kent

Our work at Emmetts Garden 

Take a look behind the scenes at Emmetts Garden in Kent and discover the work that goes into keeping this special place looking its best.

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Visiting Emmetts Garden with your dog 

Emmetts Garden is a three pawprint rated place. Share a stroll around Emmetts Garden with your dog. Allowed in all areas of the gardens, there’s no better place for them to spend a day.

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