Original article from Kent Live
Hole Park Gardens in Rolvenden is one of the best places to see bluebells in the entire county.
And although the cold weather has held the bluebells back this year, we are nearing the time when nature transforms the woodland into a beautiful sea of blue, perfect for a springtime walk.
Hole Park’s website has a Bluebell Barometer, which is more popular than ever after lockdown, as visitors are keen to time their visit to make sure they see the bluebells looking their best.
Many missed out last year as it was not possible to visit Hole Park in April and early May due to the pandemic.
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Owner Edward Barham said: "We are now open every day and it has been wonderful to welcome our visitors back to the gardens to enjoy all the wonderful spring colour.
"The colder weather has held back the bluebell display this year by a couple of weeks, but as the weather warms up, we can see the bluebells coming into flower and we expect our bluebell wood to look spectacular from this weekend until about mid-May.”
Dogs are also welcome in the gardens, but owners are asked to keep their pets on a short lead.
Visitors can also admire the impressive standard wisterias, rhododendrons, azaleas and delightful naturalised meadows where they can spot the wild orchids.
A circular walk leads visitors past a pleasing tree sculpture with a family of bears climbing to reach a honey pot before visitors walk through a gate into the woods to admire the spectacular bluebells and drink in the wonderful scent that fills the air.
The path also leads visitors over delightful streams to the renovated solar powered icehouse before winding its way back through the magical silver haze of the wild garlic walk.
Hole Park sits quietly in the Wealden countryside within an extensive 16 acre garden and an additional 10 acres of beautiful woodlands.
The gardens are laid out in a series of rooms divided by immaculately trimmed yew hedges. Around every corner there are surprises, including sculptures, ponds, attractive water features and a lovely tree swing hanging from a mature oak.
The gardens and tearooms are open daily from April 1 to July 7 before opening on Wednesdays and Thursday until the end of October.
The gardens will also be open on Sundays in October. Opening hours are 11am to 6pm.
Admission is £9 for adults and £1 for children (5 to 18). Season tickets are £25 each.
Hole Park is a family-owned estate which has been in the Barham family for the past four generations. Formalised gardens combine with natural woodland. These extensive gardens were developed, laid out and planted by Colonel Barham, the great-grandfather of the present owner, in the years between the two World Wars.
Visitors to the gardens in early April will see swathes of crocuses, narcissi and daffodils.
A pretty ‘Camelia Walk’ with shade-loving hellebores takes walkers down a path flanked by flowering cherry trees. Before the bluebells take centre stage, the meadows and woodland floor are a sea of primroses and dainty blue scillas.
Magnificent mature magnolia trees will also be flowering throughout the gardens and woodlands.
In May the gardens are full of tulips, roses and clematis and the vineyard garden has several impressive standard wisterias to admire. Rhododendrons and azaleas flower throughout the gardens and the delicate wild orchids will start to flower in the meadows alongside the architectural spires and star-shaped flowers of ‘camassia’.
The sundial garden provides an interesting view over the Wealden countryside through an oval shaped window in the topiary hedge.