Reuthe’s: The Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks
Reuthe’s are the Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks, an acclaimed plant nursery founded in 1902 by a German plant hunter, set in 11 acres of ancient woodland, part of the horticultural miracle that is the Green Sand Ridge in the Weald of Kent. At Base Camp café there is a daily changing menu of grilled and chilled sandwiches, warm baked sausage rolls, fresh crumpets, seasonal soups and salads. There is Corban Coffee alongside cakes and bakes and a delicious Base Camp afternoon tea.
The historic site has been bought by local plantsman Oliver Schneider who is restoring the gardens to its former glory. In its heyday Reuthe’s won Gold 17 years’ in a row at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show. Reuthe’s is situated on a north-facing woodland on a gently sloping hill with acidic, sandy and free-draining soil, part of the Green Sand Ridge. The Lost Gardens offer ideal growing conditions for the 300 varieties of rhododendrons growing on site and other acid loving plants such as rare trees, shrubs, azaleas and camellias.
Reuthe’s welcomes visitors to explore the woodland, jungle-like pathways and walks up through the Hidden Valley. Here they will find plants and trees so rare they are the only ones in this country and discover hidden pockets of wild mushrooms, wild garlic and blueberries. The family friendly site is fantastic to go exploring with children and well-behaved dogs. Entrance is free.