Perennials delight in new garden at Hever Castle

Perennials in Diana's Walk
July 23 2018 | Garden

Visitors to Hever Castle will be able to immerse themselves in perennials in a new garden that site on Diana’s Walk.

Faith’s Garden has been developed by the head gardener Neil Miller in conjunction with CEO Duncan Leslie and Nick Postma.

Prior to the 1987 hurricane, this part of the garden which runs alongside the Italian Garden was covered with trees, but following the felling of many of these in the great storm, this area was kept as mown grass before plans were put in place to create a paradise for perennials.

The path here has been known as Diana’s Walk for the last century and was named after the statue of Diana which graced Diana’s Lawn in the Italian Garden until it was sold in the 1980s. The newly planted area of the garden has been named after the Castle’s owner Mrs Guthrie in celebration of her 50th wedding anniversary this year and to recognise her passion for the gardens at Hever.

Running along the outer wall of the Italian Garden, Faith’s Garden provides an impressive 1,200 square metres of perennials. Many of the plants in this area were brought in from Tom Massey’s garden for Perennial at RHS Hampton Court 2017, providing a riot of colour in the form of verbena, grasses, crocosmia, and rubekia.

Pathways have been cut between the plants so that the visitor can walk among the perennials and grasses to touch them and smell their perfume.

As they walk through the perennials, the visitor is afforded glimpses of sculpture through doorways to the Italian Garden. Grasses, echinacea and agapanthus entice visitors to reach out and touch them as they trace a looping pathway down towards the Lake and the Loggia.

CEO Duncan Leslie says: “This is an important development for us at Hever Castle as it showcases the diversity of plant materials that we currently grow within the gardens. We are always keen to add and to develop the Gardens, as long as there is meaning to the creation and for us the newly developed Diana’s Walk and Faith’s Garden is special because it celebrates the Guthrie’s huge contribution to the estate. The new area has a wild sense of beauty and freedom about it which sets it apart from the other more formal areas at the Castle.”