Celebrating 85 years of Gardening and Giving


A total of 120 special presentations will take place at private gardens in England and Wales this spring marking 85 years since they first opened to the public in aid of the National Gardens Scheme.

On 28th May 1927 the garden gates at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, the ancestral home of The Marquess of Salisbury, swung open and anyone willing to pay the one shilling (5p in today’s currency) admission charge could, in the words of The Times reporter, “wander where they liked.”  This was the very first garden to open on behalf of what is now the National Gardens Scheme which was established in that year by the Queen’s Nursing Institute as a way to contribute to a memorial fund they had set up in aid of their patron, Queen Alexandra, following her death in 1925.

George Plumptre (Chief Executive) and Penny Snell (Chairman) with one of the commemorative plaques to be presented to the gardens that opened for the National Gardens Scheme in 1927 and also in 2012, the Scheme’s 85th anniversary.

Penny Snell (Chairman) and George Plumptre (Chief Executive) of the National Gardens Scheme with one of the commemorative plaques to be presented to the gardens that opened for the National Gardens Scheme in 1927 and also in 2012, the Scheme’s 85th anniversary.

Each one of the original gardens that opened in 1927 and which are opening in 2012 will be presented with a commemorative plaque carrying a representation of a 1927 shilling and a message of thanks, to mark the 85th anniversary.

“A total of one hundred and twenty of the original 1927 gardens, including Hatfield House, will be among over 3,800 mainly private gardens to open for us in 2012,” explains George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the charity.  “That one-shilling entrance fee remained in place until decimalisation in 1971.  Today, the average charge is around £3.50 and since that first year we have donated more than £35 million to nursing, caring and gardening charities.”

Currently the NGS’s primary nursing and caring beneficiaries are The Queen’s Nursing Institute, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Help the Hospices, Crossroads Care and Perennial. Each charity currently receives an annual donation and the NGS is the biggest single benefactor for both Macmillan Cancer Support’s and Marie Curie. To date Macmillan has received more than £13 million and Marie Curie more than £5 million. In addition to annual donations the NGS also has an annual guest charity which for 2012 is the Alzheimer’s Society.

“The £2.6m that we will give away in 2012, maintaining the same level as in 2011, means that of every £1 raised and donated to us by our generous garden owners we are giving over 80p to our beneficiary charities’ adds George Plumptre.  “That’s a fantastic ratio and an enormous tribute to the garden owners who go to an inordinate amount of time and trouble preparing their gardens to be ready for the public on our behalf.”

George stresses the significance of the NGS’s first openings: “when those first 609 gardens opened in 1927 it marked a revolution in unrestricted public access to private gardens. Nothing like this had ever happened before and it can be seen as a significant step in the democratisation of society that was taking place between the wars and in the popularisation of support for charities. This principle of being inclusive has remained a vital part of the NGS’s philosophy ever since and is something of which we are very proud.”

“No matter where you live in England and Wales there will be a National Gardens Scheme open garden within driving distance every weekend through the summer (and a total of some 7700 open days in all).   We are the biggest garden based charity fundraiser in England and Wales,” adds George.

 

1927 Gardens

Below is a list of the 120 gardens that opened in 1927, which are open to the public once again this year in 2012, to mark our 85th anniversary. Please note the gardens are listed alphabetically in county order.

 

Bedfordshire   


Southill Park   
Large garden, with mature trees and flowering shrubs, herbaceous borders, rose garden and wild garden. Large conservatory with tropical plants. The parkland was designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in 1777   
Opening: Sun 3 June (2-5)


Berkshire   


Englefield House   
9-acre woodland garden with interesting variety of trees and shrubs, stream, water garden descending to formal terraces with stone balustrades making background for deep borders. Small enclosed gardens of differing character incl children's garden with joke fountains. All enclosed by deer park with lake           

Englefield House
   
Highclere Castle 
The 1,000 acres of parkland and gardens at Highclere Castle were originally designed for the 1st Earl of Carnarvon by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Highlights incl the Monks garden with its beautiful climbing rose wall, a lavender walk and glass houses. The enchanting Secret Garden has curving herbaceous borders, serpentine paths and riotous displays of summer colour. The current Earl and Countess have created a new arboretum and reinstalled a beech avenue, originally planted by Robert Herbert in the 1730’s   
Opening: For visitor information and opening times, please see website     

Highclere Castle
   
Stubbings House
Landscaped garden of 10-acres accessed through 1 acre walled garden of retail nursery adjoining C18 house, home to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in WW2. Long border facing 60m wall of wisteria. Notable trees incl historic Cedars and Araucaria, large lawn with ha-ha and parklands vista beyond. Attractive woodland walks providing access to 250 acres of adjacent National Trust woodland (Maidenhead Thicket)   
Opening: Sat 24, Sun 25 Mar, Sat 5, Sun 6, Mon 7 May (11-4.30).  Gardening Clubs also welcome by appt   

Stubbings House

Welford Park
An NGS 1927 pioneer garden with parkland and formal garden with emphasis on wildlife habitat and wild flowers. Naturalistic and healing planting for calm atmosphere and delicious scents. Peony border, rose pergola and large wistria on south side of Queen Anne house   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 20 May (2-5)


Buckinghamshire   


Ascott
Combining Victorian formality with early C20 natural style and recent plantings to lead it into the C21, with a recently completed garden designed by Jacques and Peter Wirtz who designed the gardens at Alnwick Castle, and also a Richard Long Sculpture. Terraced lawns with specimen and ornamental trees, panoramic views to the Chilterns. Naturalised bulbs, mirror-image herbaceous borders, impressive topiary incl box and yew sundial   
Opening: For NGS: Mons 7 May, 27 Aug (2-6)       

Ascott

Danesfield House
The gardens at Danesfield were completed in 1901 by Robert Hudson, the Sunlight Soap magnate who built the house. Since the house opened as a hotel in 1991, the gardens have been admired by several thousand guests each year. However, in 2009, it was discovered that the gardens contained outstanding examples of pulhamite in both the formal gardens and the waterfall areas. The 100yr-old topiary is also outstanding. Part of the grounds incl an Iron Age fort.   
Opening: Every Tue & Thur 2 Aug to 30 Aug (10-5.30)       



Hall Barn
Historical landscaped garden laid out between 1680-1730 for the poet Edmund Waller and his descendants. Features 300yr-old 'cloud formation' yew hedges, formal lake and vistas ending with classical buildings and statues. Wooded walks around the grove offer respite from the heat on sunny days. One of the original gardens opening in 1927 for the NGS       
Opening: Visitors & groups welcome by appt. Requests in writing or by email please   



Nether Winchendon House
5 acre garden with fine and rare trees. A variety of hedges and shrubs. Founder garden (1927) Medieval and Tudor manor house set in stunning landscape. Lawn runs down to R Thame. Picturesque village with interesting church   
Opening: For NGS: Mons 7 May, 4 June, 27 Aug (2-5.30)       



Wittington Estate
Situated on the banks of the Thames, between Marlow and Henley is SASUK and the Wittington Estate. Built in 1898 for Hudson Ewbank Kearley, later Viscount Devonport. Last opened for NGS in 1939! Stunning viewpoints, rose garden, court garden, herbaceous borders, flash-lock capstan wheel, boat house and arboretum (under restoration). Wood tree sculpture   
Opening: Sun 26 Aug (10-4)


Cheshire & Wirral   


Arley Hall & Gardens
One of Britain's finest gardens, Arley has been lovingly created by the same family over 250yrs and is famous for its yew buttressed herbaceous border, avenue of ilex columns, walled garden, pleached lime avenue and Victorian Rootree. A garden of great atmosphere, interest and vitality throughout the seasons. Specialist nursery adjacent   
Opening: For NGS: Sat 4 Aug (11-5)       



Peover Hall Gardens
15 acres. 5 walled gardens; C19 dell, rhododendrons, pleached limes, topiary. Grade II Carolean Stables and C18 park   
Opening: For NGS: Sat 19, Sun 20 May (2-5)


Cornwall   


Carclew House
Part of the formal gardens of original Carclew Mansion, former house of the Lemon family. Grade ll listed C18 and C19 garden, walls and terraces currently undergoing restoration. Incl Italianate garden, acer glade (40+ varieties) fern dell and woodland walk. Recent plantings incl over 40 species of rhododendron and rose garden   
Opening: Sun 15 Apr (12-5)       



Lanhydrock
Large formal garden laid out 1857. Good summer colour with herbaceous borders, shrub garden with fine specimens of rhododendrons and magnolias and lovely views   
Opening: For NGS: Tue 8 May; Thur 19 July (10-6)       

Lanhydrock

Penjerrick Garden
10-acre subtropical garden, home to important rhododendron hybrids and the C19 Quaker Fox family. The upper garden contains rhododendrons, camellias, magnolias, bamboos, tree ferns and magnificent trees. Across a bridge a luxuriant valley features ponds in a wild primeval setting. Suitable for adventurous fit people wearing gumboots. A jungley experience   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 22 Apr (1.30-4.30)       



Prideaux Place
The gardens suffered badly after the Second World War but today's exciting and extensive restoration programme is well underway in bringing the gardens back to their former glory. A garden of vistas, Prideaux Place has breathtaking views. Deer park, formal garden, woodland walks, spring flowers, temple and gothic dairy   
Opening: For NGS: Sat 14 Apr (2-5)       



Trelissick
Woodland garden with fantastic views out to water on 3 sides. Contrasts between light and shade and inspiration from gardening in a variety of woodland environments. Mixed borders designed for long term interest with a mixture of popular hardy favourites and tender exotics with foliage interest. Four summerhouses with lovely views   
Opening: For NGS: Tue 1 May (10.30-5.30, last entry 5pm)


Cumbria   


Dalemain
Delightful 5-acre plantsman’s gardens, set against the grandeur of the Lakeland Fells and parkland. Herbaceous borders; rose walk with old-fashioned roses and named ancient apple trees; Abies Cephalonica fir; tulip tree and Tudor knot garden. Wild garden with blue Himalayan poppies. Woodland walks   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 1 July (10.30-5)       

Dalemain

Levens Hall Gardens
World famous topiary garden laid out between 1690 and 1720 by Guillaume Beaumont. Colourful summer bedding, herbaceous borders, fountain garden, nuttery, ornamental vegetable garden and herb garden   
Opening: Evening Opening £8.50, chd free, wine, Thur 5 July (5.30-8)      



Rydal Hall
Formal Italianate gardens designed by Thomas Mawson in 1911 set in 34 acres. The gardens have recently been restored over a 2yr period returning to their former glory. Informal woodland garden, leading to C17 viewing station/summerhouse, fine herbaceous planting, community vegetable garden, orchard and apiary   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 1 Apr; Thurs 5, 19 July; 2 Aug (11-4)


Derbyshire   


Locko Park
An original 1927 open garden for the NGS. Large garden; pleasure gardens; rose gardens designed by William Eames. House (not open) by Smith of Warwick with Victorian additions. Chapel (open) Charles II, with original ceiling   
Opening: Sun 20 May (2-5)       



Melbourne Hall Gardens
A 17 acre historic garden with an abundance of rare trees and shrubs, woodland and waterside planting with extensive herbaceous borders. Meconopsis, candelabra primulas, styrax japonica, cornus kousa 'Eddies white wonder'. The other garden features incl Bakewells wrought iron arbour, a yew tunnel and fine C18 statuary and water features   
Opening: For NGS: Sat 2, Sun 3 June (1.30-5.30)

Melbourne Hall Gardens


Devon   


Killerton Garden
20 acres of spectacular hillside gardens with naturalised bulbs, sweeping down to large open lawns. Delightful walks through fine collection of rare trees, shrubs and herbaceous borders. Laid out by John Veitch early C19   
Opening: For NGS: Suns 12 Feb; 13 May; 16 Sept (10.30-dusk)       

Killerton Garden


Knightshayes Court Garden
Large ‘Garden in the Wood’, 50 acres of landscaped gardens with pleasant walks and views over Exe valley. Choice collections of unusual plants, incl acers, birches, rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, magnolias, roses, spring bulbs, alpines and herbaceous borders; formal gardens; walled kitchen garden   
Opening: For NGS: Fri 27 Apr (11-5)       

Knightshayes Court Garden

Sidbury Manor
Built in the 1870s this Victorian manor house built by owner's family and set within East Devon AONB comes complete with 20 acres of garden incl substantial walled gardens, an extensive arboretum containing many fine trees and shrubs, a number of champion trees, and areas devoted to magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias   
Opening: Sat 28, Sun 29 Apr (2-5)


Dorset   


Abbotsbury Gardens
30 acres, started in 1760 and considerably extended in C19. Much recent replanting. The maritime micro-climate enables Mediterranean and southern hemisphere garden to grow rare and tender plants. National collection of Hoherias (flowering Aug in NZ garden). Woodland valley with ponds, stream and hillside walk to view the Jurassic Coast.
Opening: Open all yr except Christmas week           

Abbotsbury Gardens


Cranborne Manor Garden
Beautiful and historic garden laid out in C17 by John Tradescant and enlarged in C20, featuring several gardens surrounded by walls and yew hedges: blue and white garden, cottage-style and mount gardens, water and wild garden. Many interesting plants, with fine trees and avenues   
Opening: For NGS: Wed 4 Apr (9-4); Sat 14 July (10-4)       

Cranborne Manor Garden


Forde Abbey Gardens
30 acres, fine shrubs, magnificent specimen trees, ponds, herbaceous borders, rockery, bog garden containing superb collection of Asiatic primulas, Ionic temple, working kitchen garden supplying the restaurant. Centenary fountain, England's highest powered fountain      

Forde Abbey Gardens


Kingston Lacy
43 acres of garden, approached through lime avenue. Parterre and Sunk Gardens planted with Edwardian schemes, spring and summer. Victorian fernery contains 35 varieties. Rose garden. Japanese garden restored to Henrietta Bankes' creation of 1910. 2 National Collections: Convallarias and Anemone nemorosa   
Opening: For NGS: Sat 7, Sun 8 July (10.30-6)       

Kingston Lacy
   
Kingston Maurward Gardens
35 acres of gardens laid out in C18 and C20 with 5-acre lake. Generous terraces and gardens divided by hedges and stone balustrades. Stone features and interesting plants. Elizabethan walled garden laid out as demonstration. National Collections of penstemons and salvias           

Kingston Maurward Gardens
   
Parnham House
Beautifully presented spacious gardens surrounding Elizabethan Manor House. Terraced formal gardens on South side of house with topiary features leading to lake within deer park setting. Walled gardens with themed borders and vegetable area   
Opening: Tue 19, Sun 24 June (2-5)       

Parnham House

Ranston
Beautiful parkland on R Iwerne, set out by the forebears of the present owner. Recently restored parkland and lake with Palladian bridge and house. Lakeside walk. Winner of 2006 Georgian Society Award for restoration of a garden/park   
Opening: Sat 23 June (12-5.30)       


   
Sherborne Castle
40+ acres. A Capability Brown garden with magnificent vistas across the surrounding landscape, incl lake and views to ruined castle. Herbaceous planting, notable trees, mixed ornamental planting and managed wilderness are linked together with lawn and pathways. 'Dry Grounds Walk'

Sherborne Castle


Essex   


Hedingham Castle
Walk around the C18 formal parkland landscape, with stunning mature lime trees, a huge sweet chestnut tree, all surrounding the lake, with dovecote, bog pond and formal pond, set amongst C12 ramparts, dominated by the spectacular Norman Keep. Carpets of snowdrops in Feb, and young rhododendrons in May   
Opening: For NGS: Thur 9 Feb; Sun 20 May (11-3). 2013 Tue 12 Feb       

Hedingham Castle

Rookwoods
Tranquil garden with mature and young trees and shrubs. Simple herbaceous borders with columns of tumbling roses. Pleached hornbeam leading to wild flower bed all being warmed by Victorian red brick wall enhanced with clematis and vitis coignetiae. Wander through meadow of buttercups to ancient oak wood. Enjoy tea relaxing under dreamy wisteria   
Opening: Sun 27 May (11-5).  Visitors & groups also welcome by appt

Rookwoods


Gloucestershire   


Batsford Park
The private gardens at Batsford House have been restored and enlarged in the last few years. There is a new walled garden and enlarged lake. It is an informal garden with magnificent views   
Opening: Sat 16 June (2-5, last entry 4pm)       



Berkeley Castle
Unique terraced garden of a plantsman, with far-reaching views across the R Severn. Designed with the advice of Gertrude Jekyll, the gardens contain many rare plants which thrive in the warm micro-climate against the stone walls of the mediaeval castle. Woodland, historic trees and stunning summer borders   
Opening: Wed 13 June (12-6)       



Colesbourne Park
10 acre garden famous for massed displays of rare snowdrops and other bulbs in spring in the image of plantsman and arboriculturalist H J Elwes FRS. Garden comprises woodland and lakeside walks, spring garden, herbaceous borders, formal lawns and terraces. Adjacent park, arboretum and church also open   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 27 May (1-5)       



Icomb Place
Gardens were laid down in first decade of C20 and consist of ponds, water garden and 100 yr-old arboretum. One of the first gardens opened under the NGS. Major renovations of house and garden will be ongoing in 2011 and 2012. As a result parts of the property and garden will be inaccessible and as a result visitors are requested to take extra care   
Opening: Sun 23 Sept (10-4)       


   
Sezincote
Exotic oriental water garden by Repton and Daniell with lake, pools and meandering stream, banked with massed perennials. Large semi-circular orangery, formal Indian garden, fountain, temple and unusual trees of vast size in lawn and wooded park setting. House in Indian manner designed by Samuel Pepys Cockerell   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 1 July (2-6)       

Sezincote

Stanway Fountain & Water Garden
20 acres of planted landscape in early C18 formal setting. The restored canal, upper pond and 165ft high fountain have re-created one of the most interesting Baroque water gardens in Britain. Striking C16 manor with gatehouse, tithe barn and church. Britain's highest fountain at 300ft, the world's highest gravity fountain   
Opening: For NGS: Suns 15 Apr, 3 June (2-5)       



Sudeley Castle Gardens & Exhibitions
Surrounded by stunning views of this Cotswold Hills, the setting of Sudeley Castle is breathtaking in itself. The gardens have been restored and redesigned to compliment the beauty of the castle and its ruins and to echo the elegant gardens which have grown here in years gone by   
Opening: For NGS: 12 Oct (10.30-5)       

Sudeley Castle Gardens & Exhibitions


Westbury Court Garden
The finest example of a Dutch water garden in the country   
Opening: For NGS: Sat 15 Sept (10-5)       

Westbury Court Garden

Westonbirt School Gardens
22 acres. Former private garden of Robert Holford, founder of Westonbirt Arboretum. Formal Victorian gardens incl walled Italian garden now restored with early herbaceous borders and exotic border. Rustic walks, lake, statuary and grotto. Rare, exotic trees and shrubs. Beautiful views of Westonbirt House open with guided tours   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 29 July (11-5)

Westonbirt School Gardens


Gwent   


Dewstow Gardens & Grottoes
5-acre Grade 1 listed unique garden which was buried and forgotten after World War ll and rediscovered in 2000. Created around 1895 by James Pulham & Sons, the garden contains underground grottoes, tunnels and ferneries and above ground stunning water features. You will not be disappointed   

Opening: For NGS: Suns 15 Apr, 16 Sept       

Dewstow Gardens & Grottoes



High Glanau Manor
Listed Arts and Crafts garden laid out by H Avray Tipping in 1922. Original features incl impressive stone terraces with far-reaching views over the vale of Usk to Blorenge, Skirrid, Sugar Loaf and Brecon Beacons. Pergola, herbaceous borders, Edwardian glasshouse, rhododendrons, azaleas, tulips, orchard with wild flowers and woodland walks   
Opening: Sun 13 May (2-6)


Hampshire   


Hinton Admiral
Magnificent 20-acre garden (within a much larger estate) now being restored and developed. Mature plantings of deciduous azaleas and rhododendrons amidst a sea of bluebells. Wandering paths lead through rockeries and beside ponds and a stream with many cascades. Orchids appear in the large lawns. The 2 walled gardens are devoted to herbs and wild flowers and a very large greenhouse. The terrace and rock garden were designed by Harold Peto
Opening: Sun 20 May (1.30-4.30)       

Hinton Admiral

Pylewell Park
A large parkland garden, laid out in 1890. Enjoy a walk along the extensive grass paths, bordered by rhododendrons, magnolias, embothriums and cornus. Wild bluebells may be in bloom at Easter to lead you to large lakes bordered by giant gunnera - and on to views of the Solent   
Opening: Suns 8 Apr; 20 May (2-5.30)


Herefordshire   


Burton Court
First opened for the NGS in 1927 this historic garden has been recently updated by the royal commissioned Simon Dorrell. With strong Arts and Crafts influence the house and garden sit in 19 acres of parkland. Formal gardens, sculptured hedges, lake and fine views   
Opening: For NGS: Tue 26 June (12-4)       

Burton Court

Kentchurch Court
The large stately home (not open) dates from C11 and has been in the Scudamore family for over 1000yrs. The deer park surrounding the house dates back to the Knights Hospitalers of Dinmore and lies at the heart of an estate of over 5000 acres. Historical characters assoc with the house incl Welsh hero Owain Glendower, whose daughter married Sir John Scdamore. The garden partly designed by John Nash, incls a formal rose garden, traditional rose garden redesigned with colour smell and easy access. Walled garden and herbaceous borders, rhododendrons and wild flower walk. Deer park and ancient woodland. Extensive collection of mature trees and shrubs. Stream with habitat for spawning trout       

Kentchurch Court

Weston Hall
6 acres surrounding Elizabethan house (not open). Large walled garden with herbaceous borders, vegetables and fruit, overlooked by Millennium folly. Lawns with both mature and recently planted trees, shrubs with many unusual varieties. Ornamental ponds and lake. 4 generations in the family. but still evolving year on year   
Opening: Sun 3 June (11-5).  Groups also welcome by appt May to July, refreshments on request


Hertfordshire   


Benington Lordship
7-acre garden incl historic buildings, kitchen garden, lakes, roses. Spectacular herbaceous borders, unspoilt panoramic views   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 24 June (12-5)       

Benington Lordship

Hatfield House West Garden
Visitors can enjoy the spring bulbs in the lime walk, sundial garden and view the famous Old Palace garden, childhood home of Queen Elizabeth 1. The adjoining woodland garden is at its best in spring with masses of naturalised daffodils and bluebells   
Opening: For NGS: Sat 31 Mar (11-5)       

Hatfield House West Garden

St Paul's Walden Bury
Open for NGS since 1927, the 85th anniversary! Spectacular formal woodland garden, Grade 1 listed, laid out 1720. Long rides lined with clipped beech hedges lead to temples, statues, lake and a green terraced theatre. Seasonal displays of snowdrops, daffodils, cowslips, irises, magnolias, rhododendrons, lilies. Wild flowers are encouraged. Birthplace and childhood home of the late Queen Mother. Though ephemeral plantings grow and decline the architecture of the garden remains unchanged   
Opening: For NGS: Suns 22 Apr; 13 May; 17 June (2-7)

St Paul's Walden Bury


Kent   


Chilham Castle
The garden surrounds Jacobean house 1616 (not open). C17 terraces with herbaceous borders. Topiary frames the magnificent views with lake walk below. Extensive kitchen and cutting garden beyond spring bulb filled Quiet Garden. Established trees and ha-ha lead onto park   
Opening: For NGS: Evening Opening, Pimm's, Fri 27 July (5-8.30); Sat 28 July (2-5.30)       

Chilham Castle



Great Maytham Hall
Lutyens-designed gardens famous for having inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett to write 'The Secret Garden' (pre-Lutyens). Parkland, woodland with bluebells. Walled garden with herbaceous beds and rose pergola. Pond garden with mixed shrubbery and herbaceous borders. Interesting specimen trees. Large lawned area, rose terrace with far-reaching views   
Opening: Wed 20, Thur 21 June (2-5).  Visitors also welcome by appt   



Hole Park
Hole Park is proud to stand amongst the group of gardens which opened in 1927, the first year of the NGS, and who are still opening. 1927 was the first year that the garden had opened to the public so Hole Park has grown with the NGS and seen many changes over the intervening period. We and our visitors cherish a Cedar of Lebanon on the East Lawn commemorating those small beginnings of what is now an accepted part of the British summer season. 15-acre garden surrounded by parkland with beautiful views, yew hedges, large lawns and specimen trees. Walled gardens, pools and mixed borders combine with bulbs, rhododendrons and azaleas. Massed bluebells in woodland walk, standard wisterias, orchids in flower meadow and glorious autumn colours make this a garden for all seasons   
Opening: For NGS: Wed 18 Apr; Sun 20 May; Wed 20 June; Sun 7 Oct (11-6)       

Hole Park

Ightham Mote
14-acre garden and moated medieval manor c1320, first opened for NGS in 1927. North lake and woodland gardens, ornamental pond and cascade created in early C19. Orchard, enclosed, memorial, vegetable and cutting gardens all contribute to the famous sense of tranquillity   
Opening: For NGS: Thur 12 July (10.30-5; last entry 4.30)       

Ightham Mote

Knole
Lord Sackville’s private garden at Knole commands the most beautiful view of the house. An impressive display of bluebells can be seen in Apr and May. Towards the end of May and throughout June, the magnificent wisteria wall provides the most glorious and delicately scented backdrop to the garden   
Opening: For NGS: Tues 3 Apr; 1 May; 5 June; 3 July; 7 Aug (11-4, last entry 3)       

Knole

Penshurst Place
11 acres of garden dating back to C14; garden divided into series of rooms by over a mile of yew hedge; profusion of spring bulbs. Official re-opening of herbaceous borders in 2012; formal rose garden; famous peony border. Woodland trail and arboretum. All-yr interest. Toy museum   
Opening: For NGS: Wed 9 May (10.30-6)       

Penshurst Place

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens
Beautiful hillside garden, privately owned by the Rogers family since 1840, with extensive views across the Weald of Kent. Spectacular rhododendrons, azaleas and fine specimen trees. Bluebell and natural woodland walks. Children’s adventure playground, den-building trail, hedge maze and ‘Yeti Spotting’   
Opening: For NGS: Weds 25 Apr; 23 May (10.30-5)       



Scotney Castle
Scotney Castle's garden has seen many changes since the 1920s when it first opened as part of the NGS open days. You could say it has been a true survivor - from bombs in WW2 to the great storm of 1987 which brought down over 90 substantial trees. Its doors however are still proudly open and the full glory of this romantic setting still encapsulates the original picturesque inspiration. March is all about atmosphere, with low mists across the moat and the first signs of spring to come. With over 20 acres of garden to explore it is a great time to get back out into the garden after the winter    
Opening: For NGS: Thur 8 Mar (11-4.30)

Scotney Castle


Lincolnshire   


Burghley House Private South Gardens
On 14th and 15th April the Private South Gardens at Burghley House will open for the NGS with spectacular spring bulbs in parklike setting with magnificent trees and the opportunity to enjoy Capability Brown's famous lake and summerhouse. Entry to the Private South Gardens via Orangery. The Garden of Surprises, Sculpture Garden and house are open as normal. Regular admission prices apply   
Opening: For NGS: Sat 14, Sun 15 Apr (11-4)       

Burghley House Private South Gardens

Easton Walled Gardens
12 acres of 400 yr old forgotten gardens undergoing extensive renovation. Set in parkland with dramatic views. C16 garden with Victorian embellishments. Italianate terraces; yew tunnel; snowdrops and cut flower garden. David Austin roses, meadows and sweet pea collections. Cottage and vegetable gardens. Please wear sensible shoes suitable for country walking   
Opening: For NGS: Fri 6 Apr (11-4)       

Easton Walled Gardens


Gunby Hall
8 acres of formal and walled gardens; old roses, herbaceous borders; herb garden; kitchen garden with fruit trees and vegetables. Greenhouses, carp pond and sweeping lawns. Tennyson’s ‘Haunt of Ancient Peace’. House built by Sir William Massingberd 1700   
Opening: For NGS: Sats 28 Apr, 18 Aug (11-5)       

Gunby Hall

Hackthorn Hall

Formal, woodland garden and productive and ornamental walled gardens surrounding Hackthorn Hall and church extending to approx 15 acres. Parts of the formal gardens designed by Bunny Guinness. The walled garden boasts a magnificent 'Black Hamburg' vine, believed to be second in size to the vine at Hampton Court   
Opening: Sun 17 June (1-5)       



Rauceby Hall
A large open garden with lake and surrounding parkland. Carpet of daffodils leading to woodland walk. One of the first gardens to open for The National Gardens Scheme in 1927   
Opening: Sun 15 Apr (2-4)      

 

Stoke Rochford Hall
Stoke Rochford Hall is a superb Grade ll listed Victorian manor house, surrounded by 28 acres of formal landscaped gardens and parkland. The gardens are in the Victorian style, with long herbaceous borders, rose garden, informal paths and many interesting trees and shrubs, incl the Gingko Biloba or Maidenhair Tree Traditional Sunday lunch and afternoon tea available
Opening dates and times: Sun 1 July (10-6)

 

Witham Hall School
One of the first gardens who opened in 1927. Now home of Witham Hall School. Formal garden with ornamental pond and paved rosewalk. Several mature cedar trees, walled garden, pupils' allotment area, herbaceous borders. 20 acres of quality sports grounds   
Opening: Sun 17 June (2-5)

Witham Hall School


London   


Ham House and Garden
The beautiful C17 gardens incl Cherry Garden, featuring lavender parterres flanked by hornbeam arbours; S terrace with clipped yew cones, hibiscus and pomegranate trees; eight grass plats; maze-like wilderness; C17 orangery with working kitchen garden and licensed café and terrace   
Opening: For NGS: Wed 4 July (11-6)

Ham House and Garden


Norfolk   


Blickling Hall
Large garden, orangery, crescent lake, azaleas, rhododendrons, herbaceous borders. Historic Jacobean house. New wilderness area   
Opening: For NGS: Sats 14 July; 13 Oct (10-5.30)       

Blickling Hall

Holkham Walled Garden
An C18, 6½ acre walled garden. The garden is being re-designed over a 5yr period from a semi-derelict state. The gardens are open during the restoration and are described as a'Garden In The Making'   
Opening: Fri 29 June (10-5.45)       

Holkham Walled Garden

Sandringham Gardens
60 acres of formal gardens, woodland and lakes, with rare plants and trees. Donations are given from the Estate to various charities           

Sandringham Gardens

The Pleasaunce
The garden was originally laid out by Gertrude Jekyell, when the house was designed by Lutyens. It extends to 6 acres of borders, lawns, cloisters and open walkways with lots of nice places to sit and enjoy sea views from   
Opening: Sun 8 July (2-5)       

The Pleasaunce

Wiveton Hall
The garden surrounds romantic Dutch gabled house (not open) 1652 and 1908. Mown paths through wild garden. Pond, bulbs, blossom and bamboos. Borders and sunken garden close to the house. Productive walled kitchen garden with roses, peonies, vegetable, herbs and fruit for use in Wiveton Hall Café. Strawberries for sale in June   
Opening: Sat 19, Sun 20 May, Sat 16, Sun 17 June (10-4)


North East   


Auckland Castle
Gates open to approx 5 acres of castle grounds laid extensively to lawns with quarter mile of gravel path walkways. The amphitheatre shaped bowling green is one of the delights of the grounds, also herbaceous borders, and prestigious views from raised walkway overlooking Auckland Park, and the R Wear. First open to the public 1927, now in its 85th Anniversary   
Opening: Sun 12 Aug (2-4)       



Fallodon Hall
12 acre garden, incl a 30 metre border, finishing beside a hot greenhouse and bog garden. The C17 walls of the kitchen garden surround cutting and vegetable borders and fruit greenhouse. The sunken garden from 1898 has recently been replanted by Natasha McEwen. A maturing millennium arboretum beside the pond   
Opening: Sat 23 June (2-5.30)       



Raby Castle
C18 walled gardens set within the grounds of Raby Castle. Designers such as Thomas White and James Paine have worked to establish the gardens, which now extend to 5 acres, displaying herbaceous borders, old yew hedges, formal rose gardens and informal heather and conifer gardens.

Raby Castle

North East Wales   


Erddig Hall
Important, listed Grade 1, historic garden. Formal C18 and later Victorian design elements incl pleached lime tree avenues, trained fruit trees, wall plants and climbers, herbaceous borders, roses, herb border, annual bedding, restored glasshouse and vine house. National Collection of Hedera   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 27 May, Sat 18 Aug (11-4.30)


Northamptonshire   


Bulwick Hall
Formal terraced 8-acre walled garden leading to river and island. Double herbaceous borders, holly walk ending at attractive C17 wrought iron gates. C19 orangery and C17 arcade, large kitchen garden, fine mature trees, topiary, peacocks. (House not open)           

Bulwick Hall

Drayton House
The garden is in a much simpler form than it was in 1927. That said, many of the trees and beech hedges have been replanted and have never looked better. This garden is not usually open   
Opening: Sat 28 Apr (10-5)       



Holdenby House Gardens
The 20 acre, Grade l listed garden set in stately lawns and hedges, has several special features. Away from the formal gardens lie the terraces of the Elizabethan rose garden - one of the best preserved examples of their kind. There is also a delightful walled kitchen garden with the original Victorian greenhouse   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 19 Aug (1-5)


Nottinghamshire   


Thrumpton Hall
Two acres lawns, rare trees, lakeside walks, flower borders, rose-garden and box-bordered sunken herb garden, all enclosed by C18 ha-ha and encircling a Jacobean house. Garden is surrounded by C18 landscaped park and is bordered by a river   
Opening: Sun 22 July (2-5)

Thrumpton Hall


Oxfordshire   


Broughton Castle
1 acre; shrubs, herbaceous borders, walled garden, roses, climbers seen against background of C14-C16 castle surrounded by moat in open parkland. House also open with extra charge   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 22 July (2-5)       

Broughton Castle

Harcourt Arboretum
Harcourt Arboretum has the best collection of trees in Oxfordshire with some of the oldest redwoods in the UK. Seasonal highlights incl wild flower meadows, rhododendrons and bluebell woods. It has been part of the University of Oxford since 1963 but the collection was opened to the public in the very first yr of the NGS Open Gardens in 1927. The newly restored wild flower meadows will be at their peak for the opening in June   
Opening: Thur 14 June (5-7)       



The Manor House, Sutton Courtenay
Grade II listed gardens greatly influenced by two famous lady gardeners – Norah Lindsey who lived at the Manor House 1895 – 1940 and Brenda Colvin who remodelled the gardens which are regarded as her finest formal and wild divided gardens. Formal and kitchen gardens, river walks and woodlands. Please note: There are streams and a river in the garden - care required   
Opening: Sat 9 June (2-6)


Powys   


Caer Beris Manor Hotel
27 acres of mature parklands planted early C20 by Lord Swansea. Many varied specimen trees forming Arboretum. Large displays of rhododendrons at time of opening. 3 sites of Special Scientific Interest   
Opening: Sun 27 May (10.30-8)


Shropshire   


Henley Hall
The historic elements of the gardens – mature specimen trees, rock garden, water features, yew hedges, balustrades and Ha-ha – are complemented by a naturalistic planting scheme. Highlights incl: fern river walk, organic kitchen garden, daffodil ‘slang’, cedar collection and green garden   
Opening: Sun 1 Apr (2-5)       

Henley Hall

Hodnet Hall Gardens
60-acre landscaped garden with series of lakes and pools; magnificent forest trees, great variety of flowers, shrubs providing colour throughout season. Unique collection of big-game trophies in C17 tearooms. Kitchen garden   
Opening: Sun 17 June (12-5)       

Hodnet Hall Gardens

Oteley
10 acres running down to Mere, incl walled kitchen garden; architectural features; many interesting trees, rhododendrons and azaleas, incl wild woodland walk, views across Mere to Ellesmere Church   
Opening: Sun 13 May (1-5).  Visitors also welcome by appt for 10+   

Oteley

The Citadel
Imposing castellated house (not open) stands in 4 acres. Mature garden, with fine trees, rhododendrons, azaleas, acers and camellias. Herbaceous borders; walled potager and Victorian thatched summerhouse provide added interest. Paths meander around and over sandstone outcrop at centre   
Opening: Sun 13 May (2-5.30)       

The Citadel

Walcot Hall
Arboretum planted by Lord Clive of India’s son, Edward. Cascades of rhododendrons, azaleas amongst specimen trees and pools. Fine views of Sir William Chambers’ Clock Towers, with lake and hills beyond. Walled kitchen garden; dovecote; meat safe; ice house and mile-long lakes. Outstanding ballroom where excellent teas are served. Russian wooden church, grotto and fountain now complete and working; tin chapel. Beautiful borders and rare shrubs. Lakeside replanted, and water garden at western end re-established   
Opening: Sun 3, Mon 4 June (1.30-5.30)       

Walcot Hall

Weston Park
Capability Brown landscaped gardens and parkland. Formal gardens restored to original C19 design, rose garden and long border together with colourful adjacent Broderie garden. Orchard in the walled garden   
Opening: For NGS: Wed 4 July (10.30-6)

Weston Park


Somerset, Bristol & South Gloucestershire   


Badminton House
Designed by Russell Page and Francois Goffinet, Badminton House gardens combine formality, structure and openness. The Duke and Duchess of Beaufort are passionate about plants and have made their mark on the garden's many different aspects, incl formal South garden and a walled garden   
Opening: Tue 12 June (10-4)       

Badminton House

Dunster Castle Gardens
Hillside woodland garden surrounding fortified mansion, previously home to the Luttrell family for 600yrs. Terraced areas, interlinked by old carriage drives and paths, feature tender plants. Fine views over polo lawns and landscape with C18 features. Winter interest border. Dream garden with dahlia displays in main season. Play elements within the River gardens   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 15 July (10-5)       



Hestercombe Gardens
Georgian landscape garden designed by Coplestone Warre Bampfylde, Victorian terrace/shrubbery and stunning Edwardian Lutyens/Jekyll formal gardens together make up 40 acres of woodland walks, temples, terraces, pergolas, lakes and cascades   
Opening: For NGS: Tues 6 Mar; 12 June (10-5.30)       

Hestercombe Gardens

Nynehead Court
Nynehead Court Gardens are on English Heritage’s list of gardens of historic interest. Once the ancestral home of the Sandford family. Gardens laid out during the Victorian period, points of interest - pinetum, ice house, parterre, within parkland and extended walks of old estate   
Opening: Sun 24 June (2-6)       



Wayford Manor
The mainly Elizabethan manor (not open) mentioned in C17 for its 'fair and pleasant' garden was redesigned by Harold Peto in 1902. Formal terraces with yew hedges and topiary have fine views over W Dorset. Steps down between spring-fed ponds past mature and new plantings of magnolia, rhododendron, maples, cornus and, in season, spring bulbs, cyclamen, giant echium. Primula candelabra, arum lily, gunnera around lower ponds   
Opening: Sun 25 Mar, Sun 8, Mon 9, Sun 22, Mon 23 Apr, Sun 13, Mon 14 May, Sun 10 June (2-5)

Wayford Manor


Suffolk   


Bramfield Hall
The garden consists of formal and informal areas. Within the garden there are yew topiarys, a parterre rose garden, herbaceous borders, ponds, vegetable garden and greenhouses. The garden has been extensively renovated in the last 10yrs by current owner. The garden is reached from a drive through parkland containing some fine trees. This garden was one of the first to open when the NGS was formed in 1927   
Opening: Sun 24 June (2-5)


Surrey   


Albury Park
14-acre pleasure grounds laid out in 1670s by John Evelyn for Henry Howard, later 6th Duke of Norfolk. ¼m terraces, fine collection of trees, lake and river   
Opening: Suns 18 Mar; 7 Oct (2-5)       

Albury Park

Gatton Park
Gatton Park is the core 250 acres of the estate originally laid out by Capability Brown. Gatton also boasts a Japanese garden, Rock and Water garden and Victorian parterre nestled within the sweeping parkland. Stunning displays of snowdrops and aconites in February and March   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 12 Feb (11-4); Sun 17 Feb 2013       

Gatton Park

Ramster
A stunning, mature woodland garden set in over 30 acres, famous for its rhododendron and azalea collection and carpets of bluebells. Enjoy a peaceful wander down the meandering woodland walk, explore the bog garden with stepping stones or relax in the tranquil enclosed Tennis Court Garden   
Opening: For NGS: Fri 11 May (10-5)       

Ramster

The Manor House
Described by Country Life as 'The hanging gardens of Haslemere', The Manor House gardens are in a valley of the Surrey Hills. One of Surrey inaugural NGS gardens, they are still under restoration. Fine views, six acres, water gardens   
Opening: Sun 27 May (2-6)


Sussex   


Arundel Castle & Gardens - The Collector Earl's Garden
Home of the Duke & Duchess of Norfolk. 40 acres of grounds and gardens. The Collector Earl's Garden with hot subtropical borders and wild flowers. English herbaceous borders. 2 restored Victorian glasshouses with exotic fruit and vegetables. Walled flower and organic kitchen gardens. C14 Fitzalan Chapel white garden           

Arundel Castle & Gardens - The Collector Earl's Garden

Buckhurst Park
Historic garden, first open for the NGS in 1927 and now in 2012 for the NGS’s 85th Anniversary. Repton park, large lake and ornamental waterfall with rocks created by James Pulham. Terraces, lily pond and pergolas designed by Lutyens and originally planted by Jekyll. No WC available   
Opening: Sat 23 June (2.30-5)       



Gardens & Grounds of Herstmonceux Castle
Herstmonceux is renowned for its magnificent moated castle set in beautiful parkland and superb Elizabethan walled gardens, leading to delightful discoveries such as our rhododendron, rose and herb gardens and onto our woodland trails. Take a slow stroll past the lily covered lakes to the 1930s folly and admire the sheer magnificence of the castle. The Gardens & Grounds first opened for the NGS in 1927 and are now helping to celebrate the Scheme's 85th Anniversary   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 17 June; Wed 18 July (10-6)       

Gardens & Grounds of Herstmonceux Castle

Great Dixter House, Gardens & Nurseries
Designed by Edwin Lutyens and Nathaniel Lloyd whose son, Christopher, officiated over these gardens for 55yrs, creating one of the most experimental and constantly changing gardens of our time. Wide variety of interest from clipped topiary, wild meadow flowers, natural ponds, formal pool and the famous long border and exotic garden. A long and varied season is aimed for           

Great Dixter House, Gardens & Nurseries

Highdown Gardens
Famous garden created by Sir Frederick Stern situated in chalk pit and downland area containing a wide collection of plants. Many plants were raised from seed brought from China by great collectors like Wilson, Farrer and Kingdon-Ward   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 3, Thur 14 June (10-5)       

Highdown Gardens

Newtimber Place
Beautiful C17 moated house (not open). Gardens and woods full of bulbs and wild flowers in spring. In summer, roses, herbaceous border and lawns. Moat flanked by water plants. Mature trees. Wild garden, ducks, chickens and fish   
Opening: Sun 15 Apr (2-5.30)       

Newtimber Place

Wiston House
Nestled at the foot of the S Downs within a landscaped park, Wiston House has a Victorian garden under restoration. Features incl a conservatory, terraced lawns with herbaceous borders, a recently discovered cascade, woodland garden, Italian parterre, herb garden, walled vegetable garden and Victorian greenhouses   
Opening: Sun 27 May (1.30-5.30)

Wiston House


Warwickshire   


Charlecote Park
Charlecote Park has been home to the Lucy family since the C12. The gardens incl a formal parterre, woodland walk, the herbaceous border and the wider parkland which is a Capability Brown landscape which offers picturesque views across the R Avon. A herd of fallow deer has been in the park since Tudor times. Help to celebrate 85yrs of NGS by joining us at Charlecote Park, which was one of the first gardens to open in support of NGS back in 1927   
Opening: For NGS: Sat 16 June (10.30-5.30)


Wiltshire   


Bowood Rhododendron Walks
This 60-acre woodland garden of azaleas and rhododendrons is one of the most exciting of its type in the country. From the individual flowers to the breathtaking sweep of colour formed by hundreds of shrubs, surrounded by carpets of bluebells, this is a garden not to be missed. Planting began in 1850 and some of the earliest known hybrids feature among the collection. The Rhododendron Walks are located 2 miles from Bowood House & Gardens.   
Opening: Open late Apr to early June incl (11-6)       

Bowood Rhododendron Walks

Fonthill House
Large woodland garden. Daffodils, rhododendrons, azaleas, shrubs, bulbs; magnificent views; formal garden   
Opening: Sun 25 Mar (2-6)


Worcestershire   


Croome Park
700 acre landscape park designed by Capability Brown in mid C18. Restored shrubberies and flowering studs, ornamental lake and restored parkland. Ask at reception for alternative parking wheelchair users   
Opening: For NGS: Tue 19 June (10-5.30)       

Croome Park

Overbury Court
Georgian house 1740 (not open); landscape garden of same date with stream and pools; daffodil bank and grotto. Plane trees, yew hedges; shrubs; cut flowers; coloured foliage; gold and silver, shrub rose borders. Norman church adjoins garden       
Opening: Visitors welcome by appt   



Spetchley Park Gardens
Surrounded by glorious countryside and deer park, virtually hidden from the road, this 30-acre Victorian paradise, belonging to the Berkeley family has been lovingly created by successive generations and boasts an enviable collection of plant treasures from every corner of the globe   
Opening: For NGS: Fri 6 Apr, Sun 8 July (11-6)

Spetchley Park Gardens


Yorkshire   


Burton Agnes Hall
Beautiful award-winning gardens of Burton Agnes Hall are home to 3,000 different plant species, herbaceous borders, a jungle garden, potager, coloured gardens, giant games, a maze and National Collection of campanulas. Surrounded by lawns, topiary yews, fountains and a woodland walk. Collections of hardy geraniums, clematis, penstemons and unusual perennials   
Opening: Sat 26, Sun 27 May Gardener's Fair(11-5); Donations to NGS       

Burton Agnes Hall

Ripley Castle Gardens
Ripley Castle’s grounds contain some of Britain’s largest herbaceous borders, interspersed with fountains and lawns. There are walled gardens that are a pleasure to visit at any time of the year. The hothouses contain a magnificent tropical plant collection. The kitchen gardens contain rare collections of herbs and spices, fruit trees and vegetables   
Opening: Fri 7 Sept (9-5)       



St. Nicholas
The 7-acre gardens of St Nicholas were laid out by the Hon Robert James (1873-1960) over 100yrs ago in a series of mainly hedged garden rooms, a style which influenced gardeners during the C20. Always happy to share his garden and knowledge, Bobbie and his wife Lady Serena participated in the first NGS openings in 1927   
Opening: Sun 1 July (1-5)       

St. Nicholas

The Walled Garden at Scampston
An exciting modern garden designed by Piet Oudolf. The 4-acre walled garden contains a series of hedged enclosures. In July the extravagant perennial meadow will be looking at its best. The garden contains many rare species and is a must for any keen plantsman   
Opening: For NGS: Sun 1 July (10-5)

The Walled Garden at Scampston

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