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Wind in the Willows

Higher Denham

3 acre wildlife friendly, yr-round garden, comprising informal, woodland and wild gardens, separated by streams lined by iris, primulas and astilbe. Over 350 shrubs and trees, many variegated or uncommon, marginal and bog plantings incl a collection of 80 hostas. Stunning was the word most often used by visitors last year. 'Best private garden I have visited in 20 yrs of NGS visits' said another.
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    Wind in the Willows has a unique setting; 3 acres, sandwiched between the River Misborne and its millstream, and meandering through it, what was once a commercial watercress bed creates an island of mature woodland garden. That is why we bought the house in 1983 and why we are still here. There was not much of a garden then, but lots of potential! We sketched a design and started work. Years later, it’s a garden, but still a work in progress. Around the house we now have informal areas of shrubs including tree peonies, trees and heather beds, and a fine 'forest pansy' tree and a growing collection of day-lilies. Across the lawn are bearded iris and more shrubs and ornamental trees, under planted with a large ever increasing collection of hellebores for winter interest. There really is colour throughout the year; visit on 24th March and see some 20, often very fragrant, different early flowering shrubs as well as plants in flower including the hellebores, and early bulbs. Interesting barks and variegated evergreens add to the early season colour. By the summer, the rivers are always a focal point, the edges planted with many varieties of damp loving iris, candelabra and other primulas, astilbe and other marginals providing colour from spring to autumn. A red 'Monet' type bridge leads to an oriental inspired area with acers, camellia, a pagoda tree and bamboo forming part of the 1 acre woodland garden where, under mature indigenous trees you will find rhododendrons, magnolias, hydrangeas, viburnums, tree peonies and several more unusual shrubs and ornamental trees, including the rare chrinodendron patagua, which flowers in late July, together with damp, shade-loving plants including a collection of 80 (normally) exhibition standard hostas. Another bridge leads to the wild garden with mostly native species, a damp meadow, where cowslips flower first, and a bog meadow to encourage the wildlife especially butterflies and birds. New trees and shrubs will replace those lost in the dry spell in 2018 and there is a new bed for 20 azalea and other new shrubs. We are opening later this year (30th June) so regular visitors will see astilbes take over from the primulas on the river banks and the striped roses, day-lilies, hosta and lilies should be at their best.

Features and Attractions

Although unlikely to be seen on busy open days, 65 species of bird and 13 species of butterfly have been seen in and over the garden, which is also home to the now endangered water vole (Water Rat in the book Wind in the Willows), frogs and toads.

Wind in the Willows- Canceled

Refreshments:

On this day, this garden is open by arrangement, which means that you will have to contact the owner to arrange visits for groups.

Pre-booking essential, please go to our events page to book your tickets.

Admission by donation

Admission:
  • Adult:
  • Concessions:
  • Child:

On this day, this garden opens as part of .

Admission also gets you entry to this garden in the area:

Click the dropdown arrow next to the opening date above to find details of entry costs and to add the opening to your online calendar.

Click on any opening date on the calendar above to find details of entry times, entry price and to add the opening to your online calendar.

  • Regular opening
  • Open by arrangement only
  • Cancelled opening

Other gardens open as part of this group are:

Owner Information

Ron James
07740 177038
r.james@company-doc.co.uk

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How to find us

Wind in the Willows
Moorhouse Farm Lane
Off Lower Road
Higher Denham
Buckinghamshire
UB9 5EN

6m E of Beaconsfield.
  • More detailed directions
    Turn off A412, approx ½m N of junction with A40 into Old Rectory Lane. After 1m enter Higher Denham straight ahead. Take lane next to the community centre & Wind in the Willows is the 1st house on L.
Accessibility information

Gravel paths and spongy lawns.

More about Wind in the Willows

Wind in the Willows has a unique setting; 3 acres, sandwiched between the River Misborne and its millstream, and meandering through it, what was once a commercial watercress bed creates an island of mature woodland garden. That is why we bought the house in 1983 and why we are still here. There was not much of a garden then, but lots of potential! We sketched a design and started work. Years later, it’s a garden, but still a work in progress. Around the house we now have informal areas of shrubs including tree peonies, trees and heather beds, and a fine 'forest pansy' tree and a growing collection of day-lilies. Across the lawn are bearded iris and more shrubs and ornamental trees, under planted with a large ever increasing collection of hellebores for winter interest. There really is colour throughout the year; visit on 24th March and see some 20, often very fragrant, different early flowering shrubs as well as plants in flower including the hellebores, and early bulbs. Interesting barks and variegated evergreens add to the early season colour. By the summer, the rivers are always a focal point, the edges planted with many varieties of damp loving iris, candelabra and other primulas, astilbe and other marginals providing colour from spring to autumn. A red 'Monet' type bridge leads to an oriental inspired area with acers, camellia, a pagoda tree and bamboo forming part of the 1 acre woodland garden where, under mature indigenous trees you will find rhododendrons, magnolias, hydrangeas, viburnums, tree peonies and several more unusual shrubs and ornamental trees, including the rare chrinodendron patagua, which flowers in late July, together with damp, shade-loving plants including a collection of 80 (normally) exhibition standard hostas. Another bridge leads to the wild garden with mostly native species, a damp meadow, where cowslips flower first, and a bog meadow to encourage the wildlife especially butterflies and birds. New trees and shrubs will replace those lost in the dry spell in 2018 and there is a new bed for 20 azalea and other new shrubs. We are opening later this year (30th June) so regular visitors will see astilbes take over from the primulas on the river banks and the striped roses, day-lilies, hosta and lilies should be at their best.

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