|The Salutation in the heart of Sandwich, was designed by Edwin Lutyens|
Take a look at the house above and you will immediately recognise it for what it is - an Edwin Lutyens design, with Jekyll borders. This is The Salutation in Sandwich, Kent, which has been completely restored by current owners, Dominic and Stephanie Parker, but is now up for sale with a £4.5 million price tag. The Parkers have spent the last nine years restoring the property, which they operate as an exclusive bed and breakfast, but have decided to move on, and there's no guarantee that the new owners will want to share their country home with you as a paying guest or garden visitor.
|The long border at the entrance to the garden|
It is evident that no expense has been spared at The Salutation, which is marketed as "The Secret Gardens of Sandwich". When I visited this week there were at least five gardeners at work in the 3.5 acre garden, which was looking immaculate, after its lengthy restoration programme. But the Parker family have decided that their decade at the manor house is sufficient and feel the time has come to pass the Grade I listed manor house onto another custodian.
|Hedges have been used to divide the 3.5 acre garden into compartments|
There's little doubt that this garden is charming and the restoration has certainly been a labour of love for the Parkers. Both house and garden are remarkably similar to Le Bois des Moutiers, the other side of the Channel at Dieppe, although on a rather smaller scale. The huge Jekyllesque borders occupying prime position in front of the house are similar to those at the Lutyens property in Normandy, as are the compartments within the garden where hedges act as dividers between different garden rooms.
|View from the lake area to the holm oak walk|
The Salutation lies just off Knightrider Street in the heart of Sandwich - one of the Cinque Ports - close to the River Stour. Edwin Lutyens designed the house for the Farrer family as a weekend retreat and building was completed in 1912. The architect's long association with garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll means that she was probably involved in the original planting schemes here. Today the gardens are maintained by head gardener, Steve Edney and have been restored to their former glory.
There's plenty to see in the 3.5 acres here, including a kitchen garden close to the house, a tropical garden and long border at the entrance to the garden, a small lake area, an impressive vegetable garden, the main perennial borders stretching away from the house, a woodland garden, holm oak walk and spring garden. Make sure you don't miss the enclosed yellow and white gardens at the side of the house when you visit, because they are hidden by hedges and all too easily forgotten.
The Parkers say that they intend to keep the gardens open until the end of October, but if you want to be sure to see The Salutation, get there soon. The gardens are open daily from 10.00-17.00 and admission is £6.50 for adults and £3.00 for children under 16 (under 6 go free). The paved walkways mean that most of the garden is accessible to disabled visitors. Other gardens nearby include Goodnestone Park and Walmer Castle (to be reviewed later this week).
|The white garden lies to the side of the property and is enclosed by hedging - make sure you don't miss it!|
|The Holm Oak Walk at the heart of the garden|