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Very special gardens in Kent with Marian Boswall

Lossenham Manor and Reighton Wood

UPDATE: Our 2020 programme of Garden Visits has been postponed until 2021. Tickets are automatically transferred, ticket holders have been informed.

New date: Wednesday 30 June 2021
(Original date was Wednesday 1 July 2020)

Our gardens today are set in beautiful valleys in Kent and each provides an enticing contrast to the other – one historic and the other contemporary. They have been designed by Marian Boswall, known for her work in historic landscapes and for her thoughtful approach, which contributed to her winning the Society of Garden Designers Grand Award in 2019. We are fortunate to have Marian as our guide today, to introduce us to both gardens.

Our first visit is to Lossenham Manor, a former priory that became a manor house in the 15th century, where we are the guests of Tristram and Tavia Gethin. The house has an 18th century façade and wonderful walled gardens with a moat, which the Gethins have carefully renovated with Marian. After morning coffee we will visit the gardens, which were replanted in 2016 with new terraces and borders, providing a sense of comfortable enclosure and abundance to offset the stunning view. The garden proceeds through gates and archways designed to complement the historic spaces. Around the pool and tennis court a new herb garden feeds the barbecue and a wildflower meadow provides a gentle transition to the marshes beyond the haha.

We will then drive to Reighton Wood, where we will have lunch. This is a a stunning contemporary garden set in its own wooded valley, with a history going back to the Romans, who came here for oak, water and iron. Owners Mark and Robyn Reeves have worked with Marian Boswall to develop a landscape that Marian describes as a ‘mannered microcosm of the countryside beyond’. Tree-lined avenues lead to the view and the woods beyond, and a pond crossed by an oak boardwalk provides a haven for wildlife. Sustainable, natural materials have been chosen, and broad sweeps of mixed shrub and herbaceous borders create a sense of being immersed in colour and scent. Marian will describe her design approach using local artisans and layered planting, and will answer questions over afternoon tea.

This event has been organised by the Garden Museum’s Garden Visits committee. We recommend you read our Garden Visits Attendee Charter and Refund/exchange policy before booking your place on any of our Garden Visits.

Image: Reighton Wood © Jason Ingram; Lossenham Manor © Marianne Majerus; Marian Boswall portrait © Katie Spicer