Beautiful Victorian Gardens
The structure of the present gardens was devised by Wickham Flower at the end of the 19th century when he and Philip Webb, a famous architect, set about restoring them. They were both part of the Arts and Crafts Movement which believed that the integration of house and garden was very important, the philosophy being that the house and landscape were connected with the house spilling out into the garden in a series of out-door rooms. The garden at Great Tangley Manor was recorded as being one of the most progressive gardens of the 1880’s.
The present owners have tried to recreate the garden as it has been described in late 1880’s but there are no plans and it has been difficult to piece it together from descriptions. They have therefore put their own twist on it adapting the garden to current conditions.
The Bog garden has been described as one of the most successful of its kind in the country and used as a guideline for comparable schemes. It is planted with white bells, candelabra primulas, azaleas and bamboo and enclosed with stunning rhododendrons in shades of pink and red in the Spring. Adjacent is the wisteria walk, which has featured in several books, and which runs almost the entire length of the lake which, in turn, is planted with irises, bulrushes and surrounded by a variety of beautiful trees. The Alpine garden often featured in the magazine Country Life in the late 19th century and is currently a project under restoration while, in the moat garden, we have used strong architectural shapes to complement the warmth of the stone walls and planting that does not detract from the moat itself.
There are unexpected surprises in the form of half-hidden seats or garden artefacts and today you will see peahens, a deer, and various other sculptures scattered around the garden. There are many quiet little places where guests can sit and listen to the song of birds, the thrush and blackbird and relax by the sound of cascading water.