** Please note that the Agave plant is located at King George VI Park in Ramsgate- not at Quex Park**
Please be aware Quex House will be CLOSED if there is wedding taking place and some of the garden will be cordoned off. Please click here for more information.
For generations the Powell-Cotton family has enjoyed the gardens at Quex. Their love of outdoor spaces is clear to see today in the seven acres of historic gardens and natural woodland.
The gardens at Quex were originally laid out in the fifteenth century when the first manor house was built, but were extensively remodelled throughout the nineteenth century, so that the present design contains strong Regency, Victorian and Edwardian influences. The gardens were designed to be viewed from the main withdrawing room on the first floor of the house, from where lawns radiate around a central vista ending in the far distance with the Gun Tower, one of three celebrated follies in the grounds.
The established parkland contains numerous ornamental specimen trees and a sunken fountain garden. This feature was once a formal Italianate garden and is currently undergoing extensive re-planting to restore formal borders and paths, which have been lost over time. A project which was funded by the Ass. of Independent Museums has recently been completed to have the pond and listed statues, which stand in the centre, fully restored.
On the upper terraces of the lawn, there are some fine specimen trees, including two venerable King James Mulberries and an ancient Sophora Japonica. Surrounding the upper terraces is an extensive shrub border and a vibrant Edwardian herbaceous border against a south wall. A more recent introduction is a rose border, established with the help of David Austin Roses, which contains a collection of the old roses and some new introductions.
Hidden behind the high, old brick walls of the herbaceous border is an exceptional example of a Walled Kitchen Garden, which had later commercial use as a market garden. Although in need of restoration, many original features of its historic use remain and there are collections of tender exotics, fruit trees, cacti, succulents and pelargoniums. Work is ongoing to preserve the glasshouse structures and to raise heritage fruit and vegetable varieties.
Surrounding the gardens is a woodland walk, with a good show of spring bulbs and planted beds, contrasting with the more formal pleasure grounds of the mansion.
From 1883 James Cornford was Head Gardener at Quex and by 1902 about twenty gardeners were employed. Following the retirement of James Cornford in 1923, the cost of the upkeep of the garden had become a concern and it was at this time that the level of staffing was reduced to current levels. Today, our Head Gardener and an assistant, along with a team of valuable and appreciated volunteers, tend our gardens. Look out for them during your visit - they are always happy to talk to visitors about the gardens and its history.