Just recently, I have had a number of requests asking about which part of the world the ‘Garden of Eaden’ website comes from. So at the risk of being found by my debtors and having my identity stolen, I shall tell you. I am based in Sevenoaks, an old Saxon market town, slap-bang in the middle of Kent, otherwise known as Tudor country – a term I have just made up.

It sits on the crossroads of the Pilgrims Way – made famous by Chaucer - which leads from the historic port of Dover, through Canterbury and passes by a number of Archbishops palaces on its way up to the Royal courts of London. The life of Henry VIII was played out through most of this area as he systematically bought up large hunting estates– Knole house, Leeds Castle, Hever Castle, Otford Palace, Penshurst Place and many more besides –all paid for with money generated through the dissolution of the Monasteries. Within a 25 mile radius you probably have the largest selection of period Royal Tudor properties in the country.

My Christmas present to the viewers of the 'Garden of Eaden' website – the majority of which are American – is a montage of photographs that I have taken over the past few years of my favourite properties. I know this has little to do with plants and gardening but if you look carefully there are definately some in the background.

People who like plants also tend to also like history, so if you are interested in the Tudors then hopefully you will like this too. If you have any questions then leave a comment and I will get back to you. If you would like to know more, then click onto the links below or go direct to the ‘My English Diary’ website.

Please enjoy these views from the old country- including a couple of oddballs - and keep an eye out for the rogue camel.

For more information click onto:
Christmas Tree
Recipe for Traditional Christmas Cake
Recipe for Christmas Pudding


jeansgarden said...

Simon, The photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them. -Jean

tina said...

A lovely Christmas present to us all indeed. Chaucer brings up memories. I studied him in high school. I've actually even been to the white cliffs of Dover, courtesy of a ferry ride across the channel. England is such a beautiful country. Do enjoy your holidays.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I love it Simon. Happy Christmas to you too. Beautiful photos. You live in an auspicious place.~~Dee

Autumn Belle said...

Hi, Simon. The slide show is captivating and I love the falling snowflakes. The place looks very 'English'. May you have a blessed Chirstmas!

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

Beautiful pictures! If there is one part of the world I would like to visit outside of the US, England would be it. Thanks for the tour!

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

VeryFatPiggy said...

I have been reading your blog for a while, thank you for sharing your wonderful experience and photos. Besides American, you have a least one HongKong reader, I'm from Hong Kong. :) I'm just learning to plant in our small balcony, and were taking some advise from your blog. Thank you very much ! (i thought camels were only from the desert ? :O ) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

Laura Gardens in Desert said...

Beautiful, Stunning,that is an amazing place to live. Doe's it seem to you that the very air is charged?
Aire air?

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Simon, that photo of the part of the wall, and the gate, covered with snow.....beautiful.

There is a part of me that is always amazed to find out that people are fortunate enough to experience the historical houses by living near, or in them. Canada being such a young country, we have little beyond the 1800's. It just seems like such a dream come true.

Have a great Christmas. Looking forward to spring gardening.


Joanne said...

Lovely photos and lots of lovely places to visit not far from Sissinghurst then lucky you.
Have a lovely Christmas.

LeSan said...

Simon what a wonderful Christmas present! Thank you for putting this together for us yanks on the other side of the pond. hehe.
Everything was so beautiful and impressive. I do believe that I will revisit this post frequently. I loved the rich history that you shared in these photos. You live in a beautiful place and you clearly have a keen appreciation for it's beauty.

I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. I hope you are all safe and warm, surrounded by friends and loved ones.

larry said...

A picture really does tell a thousand words. My favourate place is Leeds Castle, which is really special at this time of year. Happy Christmas.

Nan Ondra said...

Thanks for sharing your collection of amazing images, Simon; what a generous gift. Even with your warning, the camel was still a surprise!

VW said...

What would it be like to garden amongst gorgeous old buildings that are heavily steeped in history? I'll probably never know; I'll just keep trying to spice up my suburbia a bit. The photos are gorgeous!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Mmm. I love The Tudors (am just falling into the television series with Jonathan Rys-Meyers, but was fascinated with Henry long before that) and your part of the country is stunningly lovely. Chaucer, ah, a different set of memories. I belonged to a professional writers association where, every year during our AGM, part of the evening festivities was a reading of Chaucer--in Middle English--by one of our colleagues. Then there were the Shakespeare skits, but they were a little less highbrow.
Happy Christmas to you and yours, Simon!

LynnS said...

Simon, Thank you so very much for this beautiful Christmas gift to us. Your slide show is marvelous and I plan to show this to my gardening mother when she visits on Christmas day.

The beauty you have captured is both inspiring and spiritual. The various structures and 'scapes are integral parts of gardening, so fitting for inspiration!

And yes, I too believe that there are many gardeners who love history. While I can only appreciate the plantations and stone mansions here in Virginia, you have castles and royalty in your countryside!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

garden hat said...

Simon, Thanks for the photos, the old brick seems to want to tell a story.

Merry Christmas,

Barbara said...

Hi Simon, thanks for the photos of your beautiful part of England. I spent a vacation there once and loved every minute of it, especially Canterbury itself. A very merry Christmas to you and yours. Barbara

Shady Gardener said...

What beautiful photos... hopefully you're safe! ;-) Mr. Shady and I enjoyed a few days in England and Scotland about 5 years ago or so. We so enjoyed our stay. Your photos bring back wonderful memories.

shirl said...

Hi there Simon, oh… you instantly had me wondering if I recognised this building. Alas this is not an area I have visited. It looks ery photogenic though :-D

Just wanted to stop by and wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2010 to you and yours :-D

Teza said...

What a fabulous tour! To be entrenched in so much history.... it must be mind boggling at times - or hard to try and live in the present day one would think! Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers! I am fascinated with Tudor England - of course the HBO 'Tudors' offers a far more handsome Henry, but the goings on are most....intriguing to say the very least!