Penshurst Place - May 2024


On Tuesday May 21st in rather disappointing weather a group of us visited Penshurst Place Gardens meeting as usual in the cafe.   After a warming drink and, in some cases, a snack in the aptly named Porcupine Pantry Cafe we made our way into the extensive gardens.   The Porcupine topped the funeral helmet of Sir Philip Sydney.  It is the symbol of the Sidney family adopted by Sir Philip’s grandfather from the royal crest of King Louis XII of France, added after he escorted Princess Mary Tudor to France to be married.

There were a number of specie pink lilacs in the walled garden, but unfortunately we were a bit early for the peony border which was not quite out and which will be stunning when it is.

On the house was a large Ginkgo biloba or Maidenhair tree, planted by a tall turret which matched its height.  In one photo Colin is explaining the Maidenhair tree to a couple of our group.  Along the wall, Acer palmatum heptalobum with their seven fingered leaves were planted in full foliage.  A herbaceous border with irises and colourful plants made a charming walk through.

A large rose bed had red and white roses within espalier trained fruit trees. The flower bed forms the union flag when in full bloom. Yew had been cut into topiary, one forming a large bear and the other a porcupine and this seemed to lead us back to the cafe where we stopped for a very welcome lunch and to dry off!