Friday, 26 July 2013



Happy Friday everyone!
How has your week been?  Certainly HOT here in the UK!  Temperatures topped 34 degrees while I was in London for a few days this week, and without the cool breeze that we are usually blessed with here at home, being positioned on a hill, it was a scorcher!  However, with plenty of ice cool drinks and 'cool' thoughts, I survived the heat and had a lovely few days staying with my daughter and youngest son who share a flat in town.

Photo: Sophia Home

Exploring, interiors research and shopping were a real treat, as were the delicious meals and time spent catching up with the busy lives of all three of my children.  On Wednesday afternoon, I visited the beautiful 'Chelsea Physic Garden' which is an absolute gem of a garden dating back to 1672 and a real oasis, right in the heart of Chelsea, and I look forward to sharing my pictures of this with you next week.  The interior and antique shops of Pimlico Road were another of my favourite areas of town.

So in all, a great few days and I have certainly had my 'urban fix' for a little while......but it is always so lovely to come home!


'Hole Park', Rolvenden, Kent...

Today I would also love to share with you, another friend's beautiful garden, a mile down the road from me here in Kent.
As my regular readers will know, I started a small gardening group earlier in the summer....a lighthearted series of get togethers planned with four other keen gardening girlfriends over the summer share our gardens with each other, and of course have a nice excuse for a coffee and a chat!
Last week, we met at our friend Clare's stunning home and garden. Clare lives at Hole Park, a beautiful country house which I have had the great pleasure of helping to redecorate in recent inspiring and very enjoyable commission which had the special added bonus of producing a lovely friendship with Clare and her husband and their family. Hole Park has a very special garden, which is in fact open to the public.  Designed by Clare's husband's great grandfather in the 1920's, it boasts fifteen stunning acres of formal gardens, surrounded by 250 acres of wooded is a must to visit, if you are ever visiting our beautiful part of Kent.

Planted with extensive yews, broad lawns, old walls.....a series of 'rooms' unfold....

Vibrant borders and gravelled pathways.....

Lead to quiet secluded vantage sit and admire......

Beautiful statues.....


Croquet lawn overlooking the pool....

Ancient standard 'Wisteria'....

A peaceful place to sit and contemplate
 the beauty...

Intricate inlaid paved pathways....

and garden ornaments....

The formal structure complimenting and providing the perfect backdrop to a profusion of glorious summer shrubs and flowers....

My favourite part.....a sunken 'dell' with a pond surrounded by rich planting and majestic 'Gunnera'...

A cool retreat from the summer afternoon's heat!

After a very pleasant couple of hours private's back to the house for tea....

A very big thank you to Clare for allowing me to share just a few snaps of their beautiful gardens with you......but I do urge you to please visit these stunning gardens for yourself if you are ever in this lovely part of Kent.  Early spring brings a spectacular display of Daffodils, followed by the vibrant colours of the Rhododendrons and Azaleas.  Late April and May showcases the magical woodland walk with its sea of beautiful bluebells, and after the summer beauty, autumnal colours bring the opening season to a glorious end....truly a 'Garden for all seasons'.


Wishing you all a very happy weekend!

Sophia xx


  1. Hi, Sophia -
    What a treat!! Thanks for the tour of Clare's stately gardens. I love the long enfilade views and handsome statuary. The sundial reminds me of the one I almost purchased at the Architectural Store in Tunbridge Wells.
    x Loi

    1. Hello Loi,
      That's a treasure trove of a shop isn't it! Always something interesting to be found. So pleased you enjoyed Clare's beautiful garden.


  2. I recently heard the song of your son Patch. What a voice, your boy is really talented!
    The house of your friend looks like a palace and the gardens are majestic!

    1. Thank you so much.....that's very kind of you to say......singing and songwriting is his life! Glad you enjoyed the garden tour. Have a lovely week.


  3. Thank you for showing us this stunning garden. One place is more beautiful than the next. I am sure it takes a lot of tender loving care coupled with hard word to produce this. Your lucky friend

    1. Thank you so much Inge, I am pleased you enjoyed the garden tour! There will be a couple more coming up over the summer, which I am sure you will enjoy too!


  4. What an impressive garden your friend Clare has. It looks beautiful! Wish we had garden groups like yours in Holland. It must be fun to share your love of gardening with friends.

    Madelief x

    1. Well Madelief, I couldn't find the sort of small friendly and fun gardening group I was looking for, so I decided to start one myself......perhaps you should start one?! Yes, it is fun to share my love of gardening with friends!

      Have a lovely week,


  5. Hello Sophia, I've just discovered your blog through "My French country home" and I think it's lovely, here you are a new follower from Jerez in the South of Spain.


  6. Welcome Marina! I am so pleased you have discovered my blog and enjoy it! You live in a lovely part of Spain which I had the fortune to visit a few years ago. Thank you so much for following me!