As some of you know this is my second year for my England Garden Tour, where I pick out spots in the UK to spend a few weeks and then visit lovely gardens, including local gardens sponsored on the National Garden Theme and homes and gardens on the National Trust. I had a little rough start to my visit to St Ives, but as most things do in the end, it turned out even better than I expected. Now, we have made our way to The Potting Shed in Benenden, which I have been anxiously waiting for. This time we would also be staying/living in a garden too. What would it be like?
I booked The Potting Shed over a year ago to make sure I could get accommadations to stay there at the time I wanted. My better half always asks me, “where do you find these places?” Well, I do a lot of homework looking for unusual spots for lodging and I like things off the beaten track and things not typical of what everybody is doing.
The Potting Shed fit the bill. It truly is a Potting Shed in the yard of two very prolific gardeners! I would say Charlotte, one of the gardeners, is a cross between Beatrice Potter and Tasha Tudor! Don was originally a farmer and has spent a lifetime gardening ( more on that in another post) But, between the two, they truly live off the land, thrive in it and a motto for them might be “waste not, want not.” Invited into their cottage for wine one evening, we got a look at how one lived in the early 1900’s, the period their cottage was made, and I can’t say many updates have been made to ruin it! I couldn’t take my eyes off the magical wonder of their lifestyle and how it would truly be living like that. No modern Ikea stuff here! Charlotte is also an artist and painter, everything she touches is made beautiful, so they enjoy scouting the countryside for finds and then bring them home to enhance their gardens! While we were there they were looking for more old doors!
The Potting Shed, on the other hand, was meant to be quite modern in comfort and cozy. The appliances are up to date and there is Wi-fi and a TV. The furniture has been re-designed in fabrics and style with Charlotte’s eye for the bohemian flair, nothing fancy, but very stylish. So without further ado, let’s look at the inside of the Potting Shed!
These stairs are called Paddle Steps. I had never heard of them, but they are great for saving space in small spaces!
The bedroom was in the loft! Loved it!
The kitchen had everything you need, even a dishwasher!
Charlotte and Don also left a very generous welcome basket of local wine, cheeses, chutney and crackers. There was also fresh picked salad greens from the garden and eggs from their chickens!
Charlotte made all the topiaries and trims them herself on a very tall ladder! Oh MY! Well there are some that are quite near the ground too!
She has left their footprints in the garden, so to speak!
There are over five acres of gardens and other delights at the Potting Shed! Both Charlotte and Don are very savvy gardeners and have a list and knowledge of other gardens in the area. So many in fact, that I was not aware of, that I added them to my “must see” list. So tomorrow we will be taking a stroll through other parts of their garden and I am sure you will not want to miss it! Let’s go through this gate and see what is in this garden!
We have stayed many places in the twenty years of our travels, but have never been received or taken care of so well as we were at our stay at the Potting Shed. If you love gardens and gardening and would like to experience a “once in a lifetime” find, this is the spot for you! Don and Charlotte at the Potting Shed can be reached Here. I am writing many posts on the Potting Shed so be sure to check them all out! Enjoy!