The Gardening Gone Wild Photo Contest for August asks that we submit a gardening image from our travels (“On the Road Again”). Since our travels this summer were more about nature per se than man-made gardens I’ve gone back to one of my favorite gardens for my submission to the photo contest. Two years ago we had the privilege of visiting about a dozen outstanding gardens in England during the heights of springtime. Even though we went to some of the best-known gardens in England one of the most memorable was that of the lodge we stayed at in East Sussex. King John’s Lodge goes back to the 14th century and has been lovingly restored. Although we were able to stay there at the time, it looks to me as though it is only open for tours now. In any case I highly recommend it if you find yourself in the area.
Although the vista from some angles make it appear quite grand it’s actually got a wonderful simplicity which is part of the appeal.
There are almost 8 acres altogether set in a wonderful stretch of English countryside. You can wander the grounds on paths that go past ponds, woods, surprising sculptures, and cultivated gardens.
But what really enchanted me each morning as I walked around before breakfast was the ‘wild garden’ which had a meadow filled with small fruit trees, ‘found objects’, arbors, and paths mowed between seemingly random bulbs and wild flowers. You have to imagine that walking these paths was accompanied by the sounds of the birds and barnyard animals. It was a wonderfully bucolic scene that totally hid the efforts that must have gone into its creation and maintenance.