Three Kent Venues Up For Garden Of The Year

MMM Magazine September 2021
Penshurst Place and Gardens Pic: © Ollie Dixon

Voting closes on 30 September for Historic Houses Garden of the Year 2021, so don’t miss it!

The Garden of the Year Award, sponsored by Christie’s auction house, has been celebrating Britain’s extraordinary historic gardens since 1984. 

The award is voted on by the general public and by Historic Houses members, with almost 12,000 votes cast in the 2020 award, which was given to Mapperton Gardens in Dorset.

This year, following the challenges of Covid-19 and with the successful roll out of UK vaccines, the eight nominated gardens are looking to bounce back strongly, and will be using the award to raise their profile in what appears to be the most competitive year yet.

The Kent nominees for the 2021 award, which you can vote for on the Historic Houses website until 30 September, are:

Pic: © Clive Nichols
Pic: © Clive Nichols

Doddington Place Gardens, Doddington, near Sittingbourne

Doddington Place is surrounded by wooded countryside in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the North Downs. The landscaped gardens, recognised for being of historical importance by Historic England, are set in the grounds of an imposing Victorian mansion and cover 10 acres. 

Visit: doddingtonplacegardens.co.uk

Penshurst Place and Gardens, Penshurst 

Surrounded by 11 acres of walled formal gardens, and housing one of the few surviving medieval baronial halls in England, Penshurst Place is a historical gem in the Weald of Kent countryside. 

The stately home was once used as a hunting lodge for King Henry VIII, and now boast beautiful staterooms and grounds that are frequently showcased in popular TV and film productions (see our Boleyns feature). 

Visit: penshurstplace.com

Pic: © riverhillgardens.co.uk

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Sevenoaks

Some 170 years of planting by six generations of the same family has created a rich and valuable plant collection for visitors to enjoy.

There is an intriguing mix of historic and traditional planting, with contemporary and quirky twists, making it a fascinating place to visit – especially with a new Summit Sculpture exhibition opening on 8 September.

Visit: riverhillgardens.co.uk

The other contenders are:

• High Beeches Gardens in West Sussex

• Gordon Castle Walled Garden in Moray

• Harewood House Gardens in Leeds

• Kelmarsh Hall Gardens in Northampton

• Lowther Castle Gardens in Cumbria

• You can vote at: historichouses.org

The winning garden will be announced at the Historic Houses AGM in November.

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