Goddards Green, Cranbrook; rural informality by design

Enjoy a tasty teaser around this lovely five acre garden that was originally laid out in the 1920s and has been redesigned since 1992 to combine traditional and modern planting schemes.  There’s lots to discover when this garden reopens its gates in July (see info below):

A closer look


Goddards Green is listed grade II* and belonged to one of the principal clothier families of Cranbrook, the Courthopes, for more than 400 years before it was sold in the 1920s to the novelist and playwright Temple Thurston.

It is likely that the the earliest surviving features of the garden, notably the Water Garden, date from his ownership. Later, the property was owned for many years by the Pearson family who planted many scented roses which remain in the garden.

The present design of the garden has evolved since John and Linde Wotton bought Goddards Green in 1992. In the 1990s garden designers Edward and Nicky Flint created the Fountain Garden (linked by a rill to the Water Garden), Swimming Pool Garden, Fern Garden and several new borders. Together with their head gardener the owners have continued to improve the design and extend the planting of the garden.

The gardens surround the house and extend to about five acres, including an arboretum and a mature apple, plum, cherry and nut orchard. Although it is very close to Cranbrook, the setting of the garden is utterly rural, looking over fields to woods in the distance. The planting is an extremely varied mix of bulbs, perennials, shrubs, trees, hedges, ferns, grasses and exotics.

“We try to make it interesting every day of the year,” says Linde Wotton. “The various parts of the garden are in contrasting styles, among them: rural informality around the pond; a traditional long border, shading into a meadow and birch grove; formality of structure in the Water Garden and Fountain Garden; and a distinctively modern design, featuring grasses and willows, around the swimming pool and vegetable garden. We feel that the garden as a whole suits the ancient, timber-framed house which sits in its midst. The house is not open, but is lovely to look at!”

Find out more about this garden here

Images: Leigh Clapp

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