Chelsea Flower Show



May 24 Wisley
May 25 V & A Museum
May 26 Emmetts, Chartwell and Ightham Mote.
May 27 Chelsea
May 28 Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park
May 29 Kensington Palace grounds
May 30 Scotney Castle & Sissinghurst


May 29th another wonderful day to explore on our own, I headed to the Kensington area and Portobello road to see what the big market was all about, then walked some more and ended up in the Kensington Palace grounds. I had to be back at the hotel for 1:20 for a phone interview with Art Drysdale. I then went back out to visit the Leighton House Museum and after that I spent the rest of the day relaxing and getting ready for the next day. If you are coming to London before September 12th, you might also like to take in the celebration of 200 years of the RHS from The Fan Museum


May 30th This was a full day out of town again. First stop was Scotney Castle. The ruined 14th Century castle aspect makes Scotney one of the most romantic gardens in England. It is particularly famous for its Rhododendrons, azaleas, water lilies and wisteria flowers. This was a wonderfully romantic place to tranquil and colourful. The old buildings are of considerable architectural and historic interest. Edward Hussey in the 1830's had the imagination to see how the medieval Scotney Castle could be transformed from derelict dwelling into quaint ruin. The castle was built between 1378-80 and for 350 years it was the home of the Carell family. Around 1640 much of the castle was demolished and the masonry used in a new three storey east range of which only the walls are still the mid 18th century they were forced to sell and in 1778 Edward Hussey bought the castle and began piecing the rest of the estate back together.

In the afternoon, we proceeded to the 16th Century mansion house Sissinghurst Castle, once home to the writers Harold Nicholson and Vita Sackville-West, and its stunning gardens, perhaps the country's most famous. 'Profusion, even extravagance and exuberance within the confines of the utmost linear severity' was Vita Sackville-West's philosophy in creating the gardens, and this is still gloriously apparent.

Sissinghurst ... what can I say about this beautiful garden that Harold and Vita Sackville-West discovered and rescued. It occupies a very ancient site, somewhere around the Middle Ages. There used to be a stone manor house surrounded by a moat - that was replaced by a mansion by the Baker family. In 1756 it was a prison camp and there was so much damage to the old building that at the end of the war two-thirds of it was demolished. Harold and Vita came along in 1930, fell in love with the place and it was five years before they even had water or electricity. What remains now of the original house is the Entrance, a long building dating from 1490. Originally a stable it is now called the Long Library mostly used for storing furniture from her family home and all the books she reviewed. The Tower is what Vita wanted ... this is where she would write, isolated and content and it remained her sanctum until she died at age 70.

What we see now is a love story ... a story of a couple who have made this their home and turned their land into a series of gardens that draw oohs and aahs with each separate garden they see while here.

We ended up taking some group photos at Sissinghurst. The only rain we had was on the last day of the tour, at this garden, and it lasted for about 20 minutes or so.

Later on that evening we had our final meal at a local restaurant and said our good byes until next time!

Hope you enjoyed this - but it is so much better if you can come along with us and experience it for yourself! The sounds, the sights and of course the gardens ... are just a flight away!
'Enjoyed all the gardens especially Sissinghurst & Scotney Castle'

'Well organized, lots of pre tour information'

'Thanks for ordering the great weather for our tour - had a great time'

'Week long tours are great...well done Donna!'

'We liked the self pace at the gardens, the size of the group was good'

'Excellent tour, enjoyed it'

'Great bunch of people on this tour'

'We enjoyed our tour very much. The people on the tour were great to be with and we made a lot of friends'

'Chelsea Flower Show exceeded expectations'

'Well organized and relaxed'

'Well organized and great guide'

'All inclusive idea was good, good mix, not too much each day'

'Hilda, our guide was great'

'Liked balance of free days and tour days'

'Hilda was very knowledgeable in English history, and very entertaining'

'My first tour, good variety of gardens with some of them breathtaking'

'I liked the opportunity of visiting the gardens on my own time and in areas that interested me'

'It was wonderful, no problems or glitches'

'Hilda was a gem'

'The two free days were spaced out just right!'

'It was a great trip. My first to England and you made it great!'

'I found a lot was put into it and yet still had time to see places for myself'

'We enjoyed it very, very much and must say that it clearly exceeded our expectations. We enjoyed the tour at your own pace at the gardens and the days off during the tour. We were able to contrast country visits with city visits and enjoyed some wonderful and entertaining visits.'




  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row