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Kent: Rose gardens coming into bloom at National Trust properties across the county this summer

By Angela Cole

The rose season is upon us and the flowers' heady perfume is drifting on the warm summer breeze.

Roses are as evocative of a British summer as strawberries and cream. They are the nation’s favourite flower for both beauty and scent.

National Trust properties across Kent are full of their blooming beauty throughout the summer. Here's where you can enjoy them:

An arch from the White Garden over the Tower Lawn leads to the Rose Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden Picture: National Trust
An arch from the White Garden over the Tower Lawn leads to the Rose Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden Picture: National Trust

Sissinghurst

The gardens at Sissinghurst are infused with world famous Vita Sackville-West’s passion for old roses. Her vision for ‘a tumble of Roses and Honeysuckle, Figs and Vines’ has been gradually restored over the past few years. Now with more than 200 cultivated varieties, Vita’s original collection is nearing its former glory and the Rose Garden is bursting with colour, fragrance and romance. Details at nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden

Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Chartwell, near Westerham

The rose gardens at Winston Churchill’s family home were designed and planted by his wife Lady Churchill with help from her head gardener. Full of the soft pink and white blooms of floribunda and hybrid tea roses that she loved, the gardens have 32 varieties of yellow rose in the Golden Rose Walk, which were given to the Churchills as a wedding anniversary present by their children. For more, visit nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell

Chartwell, the former home of Sir Winston Churchill, in Westerham
Chartwell, the former home of Sir Winston Churchill, in Westerham

Emmetts Garden, near Sevenoaks

Banks of delicate roses create beautiful borders around this tranquil hillside garden. Its pathways are bursting with the colour and blue and pink hydrangeas thrive in the summer and the rock garden. The garden also has some towering alpine trees, a Persian silk tree and unusual cream-flowered wedding cake tree, which you would normally have to travel to Japan and Korea to see. Find out more at nationaltrust.org.uk/emmetts-garden

A yellow rose: which is your favourite?
A yellow rose: which is your favourite?

Smallhythe Place, Tenterden

Once the home of Victorian actress Ellen Terry, who adored roses, Smallhythe is home to an abundance, scrambling over the walls of the house and filling the beds of the formal rose garden. A 170ft rose pergola recreates the look and feel of the garden as it was in Ellen’s day, when it was full of climbing roses. More than 50 varieties of roses have been planted, which are slowly creeping their way up. Keep an eye out for the pale yellow blooms called Ellen Terry. Find out more at nationaltrust.org.uk/smallhythe-place

Roses climbing over the early sixteenth-century half-timbered house, Smallhythe Place, the home of actress Ellen Terry at Tenterden, Kent
Roses climbing over the early sixteenth-century half-timbered house, Smallhythe Place, the home of actress Ellen Terry at Tenterden, Kent

Ightham Mote, near Borough Green

A series of rustic arches adorned with climbing roses create structural form at intervals along the expanse of herbaceous borders at Ightham Mote. A flamboyant mix of perennial plants, ranging from cool whites and blues to vibrant fiery hues of yellow and red are interspersed with clouds of deep red roses intertwined above your head. You can find out more at nationaltrust.org.uk/ightham-mote

Ightham Mote Gatehouse
Ightham Mote Gatehouse
Do you dream of roses round your door?
Do you dream of roses round your door?

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