Secluded Garden

Located between the Elizabeth Gate and the Princess of Wales Conservatory, the Secluded Garden provides a quiet retreat for visitors.

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Secluded Garden

Secluded Garden

Did you know?

  • The panels in the secluded garden include extracts from The enkindled spring by D H Lawrence and Amoretti Sonnet 26 by Edmund Spenser.

History and design

The Secluded Garden was created in 1995 by garden designer Anthea Gibson, with the aim of using plants to stimulate sight, smell, touch and hearing. Among the plantings are panels with extracts of poems highlighting the senses.

Those entering from the entrance closest to the Elizabeth Gate pass through an avenue of rustling bamboo (Phyllostachys viridi-glaucescens) beside a trickling stream. The cottage-style beds beyond are planted with scented flowers, such as Rosa ‘Madame Isaac Periere’; fruits, including apples and pears; and visually stimulating species such as Cistus, with showy tissue-like pink flowers. At the heart of the garden is a circular seating area bounded by pleached lime trees, Tilia x euchlora with a spiralling slate water feature “7 Slate Towers” designed by Daniel Harvey at its centre.

Things to look out for

Just outside the bamboo-lined entrance to the Secluded Garden is a bed highlighting plants that have been named after the Gardens at Kew and Wakehurst Place. These include the spindle tree (Euonymus fortunei ‘Kewensis), stinking Benjamin (Trillium erectum ‘Kew Beauty') and lily-of-the-valley bush (Pieris formosa var. forrestii ‘Wakehurst’). The latter, whose young leaves are an intense red, was first found as a natural hybrid at Wakehurst Place.

Kids’ mission

Can you name two scented fruits mentioned by Edward Thomas in his poem All to sweetness turns?




6 comments on 'Secluded Garden'

Kew feedback team says

08/01/2014 4:53:03 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your enquiry and interest in Kew Gardens. The lines quoted on the panel which is located beside the Secluded Garden Glasshouse are the first two verses of the poem: ‘To-day I think Only with scents, - scents dead leaves yield, And bracken, and wild carrot's seed, And the square mustard field; Odours that rise When the spade wounds the root of tree, Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed, Rhubarb or celery;’ Edward Thomas’s poem is also entitled ‘Digging 2’ and the line ‘And all to sweetness turns’ occurs in the third verse.


Debra says

13/12/2013 12:28:59 PM | Report abuse

Hello I am trying to trace the Edward Thomas poem quoted in the Secluded Garden. Your website refers to a poem called All to Sweetness Turns. However I have found this poem below called Digging which includes that line. Please can you tell me (assuming it is actually from Digging) which of the following lines are quoted on the panel? Many thanks. Debra "To-day I think Only with scents, - scents dead leaves yield, And bracken, and wild carrot's seed, And the square mustard field; Odours that rise When the spade wounds the root of tree, Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed, Rhubarb or celery; The smoke's smell, too, Flowing from where a bonfire burns The dead, the waste, the dangerous, And all to sweetness turns. It is enough To smell, to crumble the dark earth, While the robin sings over again Sad songs of Autumn mirth."


says

12/04/2013 6:18:14 PM | Report abuse

Thank you very much and I look forward to seeing you all again soon


Kew feedback team says

03/04/2013 3:44:29 PM | Report abuse

Hi Ani. Thanks for your comment. The shrubs inside the Secluded glasshouse are ‘Amstel Queen' (Ficus binnendijkii). Regards, the Kew feedback team


Ani says

02/04/2013 8:01:07 PM | Report abuse

just inside the seluded garden green house on either side of the entrance doors are two square white containers containing the same species of tree. What are these please? Thank you


Kam Hong Leung says

17/02/2012 6:06:00 AM | Report abuse

Very interesting and helpful information. The photo of the "Secluded Garden Glassgouse" at the top of this web page is particularly useful for the first-time visitors (like myself) to find the place. Thanks for the good, hard work.


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