|Photo by Pam Fray|
We almost did not get to see this garden as we were twenty minute drive away in Botany Bay admiring the chalk hills when a storm hastened our walk back to the car. It was near the end of the day, now raining, and I complained we might never make it to Salutation Gardens. You know you have a wonderful husband when he says, dripping from rain, "Let's go try. It is only a fifteen minute drive away". So off we went. We arrived in Sandwich a half hour before closing, and in fact, the lady in charge of the entrance was packing up as we arrived. But the sun had come out and she saw our earnest faces and let us in. Thank you dear lady.
Like all the gardens we visited dahlias were certainly the highlights at this time of year.
Salutation also had art intermingled through its gardens. It was a pleasant surprise and in the case of these fighting deer a treat for the eyes.
The Main border, top three photos, is a stunning border in fall. Not far from it is this yellow bed tucked in behind a 'room'.
Our half hour viewing was naturally not enough time however we both came away with a wonderful feeling about the home and gardens. Despite it's 3.5 acres size the gardens felt intimate in scale with many areas to discover.
What has impressed me most was learning last week while watching Monty Don (love that man) that the gardens were flooded in December 2013, less than 2 years earlier. High tides forced water from nearby Christchurch harbour up the swollen River Stour. Homes were all flooded and the lovely Salutation Gardens were suddenly under four feet of water. While thousands of plants were lost this was not apparent during our visit, a true testament to the fabulous gardeners at Salutation.