Goddards Green Garden

    Goddards Green belonged to one of the principal clothier families of Cranbrook, the Courthopes, for more than 400 years, before it was sold in the 1920s to the novelist and playwright, Temple Thurston. It is likely that the the earliest surviving features of the garden, notably the Water Garden, date from his ownership. Later the property was owned for many years by the Pearson family who, we believe, planted many scented roses which remain in the garden. The present design of the garden has evolved since John and Linde Wotton bought Goddards Green in 1992. Garden designers Edward and Nicki Flint created the Fountain Garden, which is linked by a rill to the original Water Garden). They also designed the Swimming Pool Garden, the Fern Garden and several new borders. Their work has been built upon by head gardener Jacqui Harris-Jones. Together with her we have continued to improve the planting and design of the garden over recent years.


    The gardens surround the house and extend to about five acres, including a small arboretum and a mature, mixed orchard of apples, plums, cherries and cobnuts. Although it is very close to Cranbrook, the setting of the garden is quite rural, looking over fields to woods in the distance. The planting is a varied and developing mix of trees, hedges, shrubs, perennials, ferns, grasses and exotics. The various parts of the garden are in contrasting styles, among them: rural informality around the pond; a traditional long border in front, shading into a meadow and birch grove; rectilinear formality of structure in the Water Garden; a profusion of colours and textures in the late-summer grass and perennial border; and an eclectic, but distinctively modern, design around the swimming pool. We have added a tiny desert garden and greatly extended our collection of camellias, hydrangeas and magnolias. Our most recent project has been to plant an arboretum, with more than 60 different species of tree, including oaks, Acers, Sorbus, conifers and many others, offering spring blossom, autumn colour, or both.

    Despite its many, contrasting elements, we feel that there is a certain coherence to the garden as a whole and that it suits the ancient, timber-framed house which sits in its midst. It certainly provides us with endless fascination throughout the year and we hope it will appeal to garden lovers of all tastes. It is a real pleasure for us to share it with visitors in support of the NGS.

    Environmental responsibility
    We try to minimise the environmental impact of the garden and orchard and encourage wildlife. We
     produce as much of our own compost and wood chip as we can and collect a lot of rainwater. No inorganic fertilisers are used in the garden or orchard and the fruit is not sprayed. Several areas of the garden are managed as flower meadows, mown only in the late summer and autumn and a few areas are kept wild. The hedges are trimmed once a year, in the autumn. Weedkiller is used very sparing indeed.