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“Bloomin’ Marvellous” - 100 year old ‘Hole Park Blue’ PDF Print E-mail

Sunday, 02 September 2012 03:42

Garden enthusiasts will be excited to learn the later than usual flowering agapanthus, unique to Hole Park Gardens, will bloom in the next couple of weeks.

Situated in the pretty village of Rolvenden in Kent, the 100 year old plants, aptly named ‘Hole Park Blue’, is a wonderful addition to the already colourful summer herbaceous borders.

This impressive variety of Agapanthus was named ‘Hole Park Blue’ by Plant Heritage (formally known as the National Council for the Conservation of Plants & Gardens (NCCPG)) in 2010.  The plants flower at several points around the garden until the winter frosts arrive.

“We have a picture of my great uncle standing next to the agapanthus holding a toy boat which dates back to 1912, so we know that the plants have been at the Hole Park gardens for at least 100 years.   Plant Heritage studied and compared the plants form and characteristics against known cultivars and to date their research suggests that the plants are indeed unique to Hole Park.  We are now growing this special agapanthus which will be available to purchase from 2013,” said Hole Park’s owner Edward Barham.

The gardens, which are set in the beautiful High Weald area, were first planted between the two World Wars by Colonel Barham, the great-grandfather of the present owner. Over 15 acres of gardens surrounded by parkland look out over the picturesque Kentish countryside and woodland. The paths lead onto the red carpet of autumn leaves as visitors enter the woodland, where the rich palette of autumnal shades can be seen at their best. Follow the trail over quaint wooden bridges, past water pools and the natural bog garden.

Benches are dotted throughout the gardens and woodland, offering visitors the opportunity to sit back, relax and take in the beauty of the countryside; ideal for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of life.

After a relaxing afternoon wondering through the gardens, visitors can have a cup of tea and enjoy the homemade cakes in the Tea Room which was a former coach house.  Here, visitors can also admire a rare and unique Turret clock. The clock, circa 1720, has been fully restored and often proves to be quite a curiosity. There is also the exotic border to discover near the Coach House which will still have plenty of late flowering varieties in bloom.

Open from April to October Hole Park Gardens also opens for charity days.  Remarkably, along with Buckingham Palace, the gardens have been part of the National Garden Scheme since the charity began in 1927.

Open 11am-6pm Wednesdays and Thursdays until 31 October and groups can book at other times by appointment.

Hole Park is located in Rolvenden, Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 4JB.

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