For its first garden visit for several months, Knole’s Garden Group visited a superb historic garden close to home – Long Barn at Sevenoaks Weald village.
The current owner, Rebecca Lemonius, gave us an excellent talk on the history of the house and garden with the house itself dating back to the 14th Century. Although the house and garden is very much associated with Vita Sackville West and her husband the diplomat Harold Nicolson – their first home before moving to Sissinghurst Castle, she explained the house was rescued from dereliction by Mrs Lilian Gilchrist Thompson before being purchased by the Nicholson’s in 1915. They extended the house and laid out the structure of the present garden. Rebecca mentioned that after the Nicolsons left in 1931 a succession of famous people lived there including Charles Lindberg and Sidney Bernstein.
The garden of some 3-4 acres displays many of the features of the much larger garden at Sissinghurst Castle with distinct rooms, areas of raised beds and above all a lovely range of flowers – some of which you can see in the hedgerows such as wild carrot and wild fennel. There is even a knot garden planted with box.
A great garden to kick start our return to some semblance of normality, though we did not have tea and cake provided as usual and had to bring our own! Well worth going back to.