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Kitchen Garden

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Kitchen Garden

This can be considered one of the jewels in Gravetye’s crown. The two-acre garden is enclosed by a unique elliptical sandstone wall, which holds the warmth in and keeps the wind and hungry animals out. We use the space to grow cut flowers for the hotels florists as well as fruit and vegetables for the kitchens. Because of this our restaurant is totally self sufficient in all seasonal fruit and vegetables and the freshness and quality of the ingredients we produce is unrivalled. Seeing the whole process, from tilling the soil to harvest, and the wonderful dishes the chefs create is incredibly rewarding. As well as being a very productive and beautiful part of the estate, it is quite special to see an old Victorian kitchen garden working exactly as it would have done over a century ago and still serving the manor.

 

Kitchen Garden

This can be considered one of the jewels in Gravetye’s crown. The two-acre garden is enclosed by a unique elliptical sandstone wall, which holds the warmth in and keeps the wind and hungry animals out. We use the space to grow cut flowers for the hotels florists as well as fruit and vegetables for the kitchens. Because of this our restaurant is totally self sufficient in all seasonal fruit and vegetables and the freshness and quality of the ingredients we produce is unrivalled. Seeing the whole process, from tilling the soil to harvest, and the wonderful dishes the chefs create is incredibly rewarding. As well as being a very productive and beautiful part of the estate, it is quite special to see an old Victorian kitchen garden working exactly as it would have done over a century ago and still serving the manor.

 

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Croquet Lawn

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Croquet Lawn

The garden at Gravetye contrasts very powerfully between wild garden and formality.  This is particularly evident on the croquet lawn where its neat lines are bordered by rich wild flower meadow and old trees and shrubs.  This space was originally named the playground by Robinson and the local village children often used to play there.  Today the local village school still comes once a year to practice country dancing here.

Croquet Lawn

The garden at Gravetye contrasts very powerfully between wild garden and formality.  This is particularly evident on the croquet lawn where its neat lines are bordered by rich wild flower meadow and old trees and shrubs.  This space was originally named the playground by Robinson and the local village children often used to play there.  Today the local village school still comes once a year to practice country dancing here.

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East Garden

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3 of 9

East Garden

This is a magnificent collection of old Rhododendrons growing amongst other fascinating trees and shrubs giving this area a special feeling of its own. The shapes of some of these old Rhododendrons are magnificent and when autumn starts the colour here is out of this world. Koelreuteria paniculata, Rhus typhina, and Vitis coignetiae are just a few of the plants which add to this areas tapestry of autumn colour. But spring and early summer is the peak time for this part of the garden, with stunning Rhododendron and enormous handkerchief trees flowering.

East Garden

This is a magnificent collection of old Rhododendrons growing amongst other fascinating trees and shrubs giving this area a special feeling of its own. The shapes of some of these old Rhododendrons are magnificent and when autumn starts the colour here is out of this world. Koelreuteria paniculata, Rhus typhina, and Vitis coignetiae are just a few of the plants which add to this areas tapestry of autumn colour. But spring and early summer is the peak time for this part of the garden, with stunning Rhododendron and enormous handkerchief trees flowering.

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Flower Garden

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4 of 9

Flower Garden

This is the first part of the garden that greets you when leaving the hotel from the bar, and always has the backdrop of stunning views across the valley. We manage it as intensive mixed borders, which are succession planted for as long a season as possible. In spring the display starts with tulips and then continues through the season with a tapestry of herbaceous perennials and annuals.

Flower Garden

This is the first part of the garden that greets you when leaving the hotel from the bar, and always has the backdrop of stunning views across the valley. We manage it as intensive mixed borders, which are succession planted for as long a season as possible. In spring the display starts with tulips and then continues through the season with a tapestry of herbaceous perennials and annuals.

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Little Garden

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Little Garden

With its south facing aspect and shelter provided by walls, this is probably the warmest part of the garden, creating a perfect environment for eating outside. When the sun is high, shade is provided by a beautiful magnolia campbellii and the intimacy and proportions of the space is very special. Because of this micro climate we can take the opportunity to establish a few tender little treasures here. Romneya coulteri, Miscanthus nepalensis and Amicia zygomeris, which can all be a little tricky, have been successes in this sheltered garden.

Little Garden

With its south facing aspect and shelter provided by walls, this is probably the warmest part of the garden, creating a perfect environment for eating outside. When the sun is high, shade is provided by a beautiful magnolia campbellii and the intimacy and proportions of the space is very special. Because of this micro climate we can take the opportunity to establish a few tender little treasures here. Romneya coulteri, Miscanthus nepalensis and Amicia zygomeris, which can all be a little tricky, have been successes in this sheltered garden.

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Meadow

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6 of 9

Meadow

The meadows at Gravetye are probably one of William Robinson’s most enduring legacies. In one of his most notable books, The Wild Garden, he describes his efforts in establishing these meadows in the 1880’s and it is fascinating to see what is growing there today. The meadow starts its season in February with the Galanthus and Crocus in a tapestry through the short grass. These give way to hundreds of thousands of Lent Lilly’s, Narcissus pseudonarcissus, which flower through a carpet of sky blue Scillla seberica. Once they finish, bluebells take over the show, accompanied by the lilac Anemone x robinsoniana and native pink cuckoo flower Cardamine pratensis. Then the meadow erupts into its full glory in June with ox-eyed daisies, buttercups and thousands and thousands of common spotted orchids. As these fade away the meadow turns gold as it goes to seed with a purple sheen of the knap weed flowers which finish the show at the end of summer. Large flocks of finches arrive at this time of year, feeding on the seed while the meadow is alive with moths, spiders and the constant song of crickets. Once all the wild flowers have seeded the local farmer cuts the meadow for hay, but this must be done before the autumn crocus flower, giving us one last show before the end of autumn.

Meadow

The meadows at Gravetye are probably one of William Robinson’s most enduring legacies. In one of his most notable books, The Wild Garden, he describes his efforts in establishing these meadows in the 1880’s and it is fascinating to see what is growing there today. The meadow starts its season in February with the Galanthus and Crocus in a tapestry through the short grass. These give way to hundreds of thousands of Lent Lilly’s, Narcissus pseudonarcissus, which flower through a carpet of sky blue Scillla seberica. Once they finish, bluebells take over the show, accompanied by the lilac Anemone x robinsoniana and native pink cuckoo flower Cardamine pratensis. Then the meadow erupts into its full glory in June with ox-eyed daisies, buttercups and thousands and thousands of common spotted orchids. As these fade away the meadow turns gold as it goes to seed with a purple sheen of the knap weed flowers which finish the show at the end of summer. Large flocks of finches arrive at this time of year, feeding on the seed while the meadow is alive with moths, spiders and the constant song of crickets. Once all the wild flowers have seeded the local farmer cuts the meadow for hay, but this must be done before the autumn crocus flower, giving us one last show before the end of autumn.

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Lake

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7 of 9

Lake

We have two lakes at Gravetye, the lower one we don’t manage but is a beautiful wild place to walk around, surrounded by some magnificent trees. The upper lake is a little more open but also quite wild, and is a haven for wildlife. We are currently working on restoring Robinson’s once magnificent water lily collection in these lakes which is a particularly exciting project for us.

Lake

We have two lakes at Gravetye, the lower one we don’t manage but is a beautiful wild place to walk around, surrounded by some magnificent trees. The upper lake is a little more open but also quite wild, and is a haven for wildlife. We are currently working on restoring Robinson’s once magnificent water lily collection in these lakes which is a particularly exciting project for us.

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Peach House

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8 of 9

Peach House

Originally built in the 1920's this wood and glass structure was renovated to its former glory in 2012. The house contains four varieties of peach: Peregrine, Amsden June, Red Haven and Gorgeous. All chosen as they proper well under glass. As with all stone fruit, they are grown as a fan to maximise fruit.

Peach House

Originally built in the 1920's this wood and glass structure was renovated to its former glory in 2012. The house contains four varieties of peach: Peregrine, Amsden June, Red Haven and Gorgeous. All chosen as they proper well under glass. As with all stone fruit, they are grown as a fan to maximise fruit.

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Orchard

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Orchard

Most of the trees in our orchard are apples, although we have a few pears, some quince, meddler and a walnut. Some of the trees are really quite ancient, making beautiful crooked old specimens but most of them give good fruit still. Each year we make our own apple juice with the harvest, which is particularly delicious. In recent years we have planted about 50 new trees. Some of these are a collection of unusual dessert varieties, but the majority are made up of Blenheim Orange, Bramley Seedling, Howgate Wonder and Falstaff. Once these trees crop, they blend to make the best apple juice in the world.

Orchard

Most of the trees in our orchard are apples, although we have a few pears, some quince, meddler and a walnut. Some of the trees are really quite ancient, making beautiful crooked old specimens but most of them give good fruit still. Each year we make our own apple juice with the harvest, which is particularly delicious. In recent years we have planted about 50 new trees. Some of these are a collection of unusual dessert varieties, but the majority are made up of Blenheim Orange, Bramley Seedling, Howgate Wonder and Falstaff. Once these trees crop, they blend to make the best apple juice in the world.