The Walled Nursery is our choice for day 3 of our #KentAdventCalendar. This one of those rare places that casts its magic come rain or shine, no matter how often you visit. It is set within a Victorian walled kitchen garden – one of the very few left intact in the UK – which once served a grand country house (now a private school) on the Tongswood Estate. The 19th Century Victorian glasshouses – 13 of them, including a Melon House, a Cucumber House, a Peach Case, a Fernery and a Vinery – were literally crumbling when passionate horticulturists Monty and Emma took on the nursery in 2010. Undeterred, the passionate couple poured their energy into the enormous task of restoring them, reviving the nursery, adding new services, and creating a “must visit” destination for green-fingered locals as well as gardening tourists.
Today you can wander in and out of the greenhouses, selecting from herbaceous perennials, bedding plants, herbs, fruit trees, house plants and succulents. Afterwards, take a break at the Vinery Café where you can enjoy tea and a slice of home-made cake, or a delicious lunch from a menu that changes daily to reflect the seasons. Decorated with heritage garden tools, the cafe occupies the original Victorian vine house, heated in winter by a glowing wood-burning stove, and is . Nest door is the gift shop, with a lovely selection of items, among them Walled Nursery tea towels, mugs and greetings cards– we defy you to leave without finding something to take home!
Just two miles from the family holiday rental Barnfield House, the Walled Nursery conveniently lies between Kent’s two world-famous gardens, Sissinghurst Castle Garden and Great Dixter (and no surprises that Emma has worked at both). For more information, visit their website.