Pashley Manor is a very special garden.
Not far from both Great Dixter and Sissinghurst, it can be passed by.
Mr and Mrs Sellick privately own Pashley Manor and have slowly developed the garden since moving into the house in the 1980’s. They had the invaluable help of Anthony du Gard Pasley, a local garden designer, along with a team of enthusiastic gardeners. I found Anthony’s obituary really worth reading, he lived in Tunbridge Wells for much of his life.
The front of Pashley Manor is Tudor in design with a stunningly beautiful Georgian rear, looking out over lawns, mote and small lake. Most of the planting is close to the house. You enter through a courtyard garden complete with a fabulous trained fig.
A Victorian greenhouse filled with exotics sits opposite an unpretentious swimming pool. On a hot day you can imagine it is a perfect place, a real sun trap surrounded by fragrant climbers.
This leads into an extensive kitchen garden complete with trained fruit trees that make the most of the natural warmth of the walled garden. An avenue of pleached pear trees separate the potager from the rest of the garden, leading into a rose garden, cleverly mixed with other planting, giving a more imaginative combination.
As you wander through you appreciate a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside enhanced by well-placed sculptures. Children seem to love these, they make a walk round a garden much more interesting.
There is a sculpture exhibition coming up in May, definitely worth a visit, the garden is a fabulous setting.
You then reach a shady area revealing some beautiful mature trees and shade planting. A small lake complete with fountain, an island in a moat with a small temple, all of this in eleven acres that seem to merge into the surrounding countryside.
A coffee/tea room rounds off the garden visit, you can sit on the terrace under the heavy wisteria blooms and enjoy the view over a light lunch.
If it all sounds just a little bit idyllic, I think it is. It is special to me for another reason, we had our wedding reception here and could pretend that for one Friday afternoon in June we were part of it all.