Spotlight on the Gardens: the Sunken Garden

Sunken Garden
July 06 2015 | Attractions Garden

According to Hever Castle gardener Emma Fuller, the stunning Sunken Garden is like a “garden within a garden”.

Having worked at Hever Castle for nearly five years, Emma has had responsibility for maintaining the Sunken Garden for much of that time.

Surrounded by yew hedges and full of exotic planting, the Sunken Garden almost has its own microclimate, providing a beautiful sun trap even on a windy day.

Having identified the potential in the Sunken Garden from early in her Hever Castle career, Emma is kept busy mowing, weeding, trimming hedges, and tending to the ornate pond in order to maintain the unique beauty of this tranquil spot.

With much autonomy in deciding what to plant in the Sunken Garden, Emma said, “I don’t like to see waste, so if anything is no longer needed on the Pompeiian Wall I’ll have it! I also try to get as much colour in there as possible with bedding and pots. It is very nearly full though, so I won’t be adding much more.”

The Sunken Garden

The Sunken Garden in spring

Emma’s Background:

Having undertaken work experience at a plant nursery whilst at school, Emma knew that this was the industry for her and she subsequently studied horticulture following her A-levels.

When discussing her work at Hever Castle, Emma said, “I love working at Hever because it is steeped in history and in my honest opinion is one of the best gardens in the country – not that I am biased!”

She continued, “I love how Hever has a great mix of formality within the Italians etc. but then also has a lot of informal parts.”

Her favourite plant is the ‘cornus’ which she describes as “such a good plant for winter colour when mixed with all different colour grasses etc.”

Emma’s only regret regarding her time spent tending the Sunken Garden is that she did not take ‘before’ pictures to show how far this area has progressed.

Read more about the award-winning gardens at Hever Castle.

The Sunken Garden

The Sunken Garden in summer