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The Mill Garden

Warwick

This garden lies in a magical setting on the banks of the River Avon, beneath the walls of Warwick Castle. Winding paths lead round every corner to dramatic views of the castle and ruined Medieval bridge. This informal cottage garden is a profusion of plants, shrubs and trees. Beautiful all year.
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    Here is a well-known garden, open every day for charity during the season.

    Winding paths lead through a succession of rooms in an area of about half an acre. Much of this planting is cottage-style but there is also a woodland area with excellent established trees. Around every corner there are dramatic views of the Castle, the medieval bridge and the river. There is a relaxed feeling, partly because of the planting style but also because of the design – verdant lawns, the presence of water, and the absence of straight lines.

    The Mill Garden was created over a period of sixty years by the late
    Arthur Measures, a passionate plantsman, and a number of important trees and shrubs have been there from that time. It is now gardened by his daughter Julia and her husband David, who have built on that legacy and moved the garden on. Their approach is to seek out plants, old and new, which suit this unique situation. This confident approach uses all types of subject, including plenty of annuals. The planting is outstanding throughout the season.

    The garden has been featured many times on TV, most recently on More 4’s All Gardens Great and Small, where Dee Hart-Dyke chose this as the garden that left the biggest impression of all the ones she had visited. She spoke in particular of the atmosphere of peace and tranquility – “just what we need in this mad life we all lead.”

    The structure of the garden is strong and simple, with three distinct areas.

    The area running down to the river
    On entering the garden there is much to take in. The lawn runs down towards the river with a path on the right. On the left hand side, other paths divide the area into two low raised beds and one much larger perennial bed further down. Against the buildings on the left is a variegated Elaeagnus, a vine and the red rambling rose ‘Paul’s Scarlet Climber’ which run down to a pink shed. From that point there is a great view both of Caesar’s Tower and, a little further off, Guy’s Tower and the Gatehouse.

    The planting throughout is mixed, dense, informal and colourful. There are powerful blue accents – Salvia, Osteospermum, Echinops and the shoofly plant Nicandra physalodes. This last has ruffled blue autumn flowers and green Chinese lantern seedpods. One of the features of the larger bed is the pink ‘obedient plant’ Physostegia virginiana, followed lower down by the tall Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’. Achilleas are represented in various colours while Chrysanthemum and Aster emerge for late summer colour.

    The lawn divides, leaving a central bed, densely planted. The centrepiece is the variegated Acer negundo ‘Flamingo’. The glaucous Melianthus major grows in front and a dark cut-leafed elder behind. Pink begonias line the base and dahlias stand behind. Two forms of blue salvia are prominent at low level – ‘Victoria blue’ and viridis ‘Blue’. On the left we can look down on a collection of pots featuring dark red Aeonium and other succulents.

    At the end we descend the steps and turn left past a seat and a neatly trimmed privet ball towards a grassy corner, behind which is a big clump of bamboo, next to the red-flowering Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’.

    In front of us is the medieval bridge, now accessible only with planks and a ladder. The bridge once supported the main road from London to the town and the castle. When the Earl of Warwick built the present road bridge in the 1780s this old bridge was sealed off and partially demolished to create a picturesque ruin. We now take the path in the direction of the Castle.

    The Castle lawn
    We are now on a lawn that borders the castle's millpond. It is dominated by Caesar’s Tower and by the castle’s façade, symbols of 14th century power and wealth. This area, although fully planted, has a sense of space and calm, with plentiful seats from which to take in the scene. Within the lawn are several well-proportioned and curved beds.

    The river bank on the left is open for most of its length. On the far left is a large Gunnera. The crimson Norway maple ‘Crimson King’ grows close by and a tall western red cedar behind it marks a full stop. In the front is a large clump of arum lily. A honeysuckle wanders over a low juniper.

    In the beds the planting is bold, with Eupatorium in several forms, a smoke bush and various types of Miscanthus grass. Purple plantain as an edging plant strikes a contrasting note. In late summer there is a blaze of colour, especially yellows and oranges, in which several varieties of Helenium are prominent, intermixed with Rudbeckia in various forms. In the same colour palate there are many sorts of marigold, notably the splendid red Tagetes ‘Linnaeus’. Elsewhere blue plumbago and purple heliotrope provide colour at ground level as the season comes towards an end. At the same time the castor-oil plant Ricinus communis also commands attention, along with the tall and striking orange Tithonia from Mexico.

    Into the wood
    Two paths lead up from the river, and we take the one nearer the castle, with a raised bed on the left, towards the spotted laurel, and at the back Clerondendrum trichotomum, a Japanese shrub with striking fragrant flowers.

    On the right of the path stands a mature Cornus kousa, with prominent bark and showy bracts in spring. They start green, become cream and finish deep pink – an attraction to visitors when in full bloom. There are several hydrangeas in this wooded part of the garden, one mop-head but notably the less common lace-caps. Again, visitors love H. aspera ‘Villosa’ with its pancakes of flowers, soft mauve on the inside and surrounded by larger pink florets. Nearby
    H. sargentiana shows peeling bark and large velvety leaves.

    Past the Cornus we meet Viburnum plicatum ‘Lanarth’, a large shrub with cream panicles of spring flowers and attractive leaves. Towards the back is a tall small-leaved Japanese maple. This area is quiet and well-shaded, with many ferns. We walk to the back and move right, where there are more trees and shrubs – a tall red-berried mountain ash, a Swedish whitebeam, and the early-flowering rose ‘Canary Bird’. As the trees open out we find more low-lying plants, including Coleus, Heuchera, Rodgersia, toad lily, geums, hellebores and hostas. Towards the end is a fine Tetrapanax papyrifer.

    We pass back down towards the river along the other path, with Portuguese laurel on the left. A fuchsia grows strongly as a small tree on the right, making an arch with the Kerria opposite. The daisy bush Brachyglottis greyi lightens the tone as we re-emerge into full light.

    Looking up we can admire the tall Katsura tree Cercidiphyllum japonicum, with its canopy well raised. A strongly pruned juniper grows underneath, as does an upstanding and ornamental fennel. There is an Edwardian summer house here, with one of the mill grinding stones for a step in. Eventually we return into the first area and turn left, passing Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’ and a good group of red ‘Bishop’ dahlias.

    Walking up towards the entrance we pass strong summer plants on the right such as cannas, Cosmos, gladioli and variegated Miscanthus. Helianthus ‘Vanilla Ice’ offers the palest yellow. On the left, beneath the buddleias and the golden hop, is lower-level informal planting that includes Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ and Fuchsia ‘Thalia’, with snowberry and honeysuckle leaning over from above. The white Aster divaricatus makes a good show from mid-summer onwards.

    At the end are pots with ferns and fuchsias. And as we leave we catch a glimpse of other good things down an alley to the left, including the red-berried Hypericum x inodorum ‘Magical Red’.

    There is another gardened area just outside the front gate, with Berberis and other mature shrubs including camellia, different sorts of laurel and various annuals.

Features and Attractions

In 2018 the garden won Gold in the Warwick in Bloom competition for 'Best Garden Open to the Public' and was awarded Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor. Open daily 1st April to 31st October 9am-6pm.

For opening times and information, please visit garden website.

The Mill Garden- 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
Owner Information

Julia (née Measures) Russell & David Russell
http://www.visitwarwick.co.uk/placeofinterest/the-mill-garden

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How to find us

The Mill Garden
55 Mill Street
Warwick
Warwickshire
CV34 4HB

Accessibility information

Partial wheelchair access. Not suitable for electric wheelchairs or large pushchairs. Sorry no dogs.

More about The Mill Garden

Here is a well-known garden, open every day for charity during the season.

Winding paths lead through a succession of rooms in an area of about half an acre. Much of this planting is cottage-style but there is also a woodland area with excellent established trees. Around every corner there are dramatic views of the Castle, the medieval bridge and the river. There is a relaxed feeling, partly because of the planting style but also because of the design – verdant lawns, the presence of water, and the absence of straight lines.

The Mill Garden was created over a period of sixty years by the late
Arthur Measures, a passionate plantsman, and a number of important trees and shrubs have been there from that time. It is now gardened by his daughter Julia and her husband David, who have built on that legacy and moved the garden on. Their approach is to seek out plants, old and new, which suit this unique situation. This confident approach uses all types of subject, including plenty of annuals. The planting is outstanding throughout the season.

The garden has been featured many times on TV, most recently on More 4’s All Gardens Great and Small, where Dee Hart-Dyke chose this as the garden that left the biggest impression of all the ones she had visited. She spoke in particular of the atmosphere of peace and tranquility – “just what we need in this mad life we all lead.”

The structure of the garden is strong and simple, with three distinct areas.

The area running down to the river
On entering the garden there is much to take in. The lawn runs down towards the river with a path on the right. On the left hand side, other paths divide the area into two low raised beds and one much larger perennial bed further down. Against the buildings on the left is a variegated Elaeagnus, a vine and the red rambling rose ‘Paul’s Scarlet Climber’ which run down to a pink shed. From that point there is a great view both of Caesar’s Tower and, a little further off, Guy’s Tower and the Gatehouse.

The planting throughout is mixed, dense, informal and colourful. There are powerful blue accents – Salvia, Osteospermum, Echinops and the shoofly plant Nicandra physalodes. This last has ruffled blue autumn flowers and green Chinese lantern seedpods. One of the features of the larger bed is the pink ‘obedient plant’ Physostegia virginiana, followed lower down by the tall Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’. Achilleas are represented in various colours while Chrysanthemum and Aster emerge for late summer colour.

The lawn divides, leaving a central bed, densely planted. The centrepiece is the variegated Acer negundo ‘Flamingo’. The glaucous Melianthus major grows in front and a dark cut-leafed elder behind. Pink begonias line the base and dahlias stand behind. Two forms of blue salvia are prominent at low level – ‘Victoria blue’ and viridis ‘Blue’. On the left we can look down on a collection of pots featuring dark red Aeonium and other succulents.

At the end we descend the steps and turn left past a seat and a neatly trimmed privet ball towards a grassy corner, behind which is a big clump of bamboo, next to the red-flowering Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’.

In front of us is the medieval bridge, now accessible only with planks and a ladder. The bridge once supported the main road from London to the town and the castle. When the Earl of Warwick built the present road bridge in the 1780s this old bridge was sealed off and partially demolished to create a picturesque ruin. We now take the path in the direction of the Castle.

The Castle lawn
We are now on a lawn that borders the castle's millpond. It is dominated by Caesar’s Tower and by the castle’s façade, symbols of 14th century power and wealth. This area, although fully planted, has a sense of space and calm, with plentiful seats from which to take in the scene. Within the lawn are several well-proportioned and curved beds.

The river bank on the left is open for most of its length. On the far left is a large Gunnera. The crimson Norway maple ‘Crimson King’ grows close by and a tall western red cedar behind it marks a full stop. In the front is a large clump of arum lily. A honeysuckle wanders over a low juniper.

In the beds the planting is bold, with Eupatorium in several forms, a smoke bush and various types of Miscanthus grass. Purple plantain as an edging plant strikes a contrasting note. In late summer there is a blaze of colour, especially yellows and oranges, in which several varieties of Helenium are prominent, intermixed with Rudbeckia in various forms. In the same colour palate there are many sorts of marigold, notably the splendid red Tagetes ‘Linnaeus’. Elsewhere blue plumbago and purple heliotrope provide colour at ground level as the season comes towards an end. At the same time the castor-oil plant Ricinus communis also commands attention, along with the tall and striking orange Tithonia from Mexico.

Into the wood
Two paths lead up from the river, and we take the one nearer the castle, with a raised bed on the left, towards the spotted laurel, and at the back Clerondendrum trichotomum, a Japanese shrub with striking fragrant flowers.

On the right of the path stands a mature Cornus kousa, with prominent bark and showy bracts in spring. They start green, become cream and finish deep pink – an attraction to visitors when in full bloom. There are several hydrangeas in this wooded part of the garden, one mop-head but notably the less common lace-caps. Again, visitors love H. aspera ‘Villosa’ with its pancakes of flowers, soft mauve on the inside and surrounded by larger pink florets. Nearby
H. sargentiana shows peeling bark and large velvety leaves.

Past the Cornus we meet Viburnum plicatum ‘Lanarth’, a large shrub with cream panicles of spring flowers and attractive leaves. Towards the back is a tall small-leaved Japanese maple. This area is quiet and well-shaded, with many ferns. We walk to the back and move right, where there are more trees and shrubs – a tall red-berried mountain ash, a Swedish whitebeam, and the early-flowering rose ‘Canary Bird’. As the trees open out we find more low-lying plants, including Coleus, Heuchera, Rodgersia, toad lily, geums, hellebores and hostas. Towards the end is a fine Tetrapanax papyrifer.

We pass back down towards the river along the other path, with Portuguese laurel on the left. A fuchsia grows strongly as a small tree on the right, making an arch with the Kerria opposite. The daisy bush Brachyglottis greyi lightens the tone as we re-emerge into full light.

Looking up we can admire the tall Katsura tree Cercidiphyllum japonicum, with its canopy well raised. A strongly pruned juniper grows underneath, as does an upstanding and ornamental fennel. There is an Edwardian summer house here, with one of the mill grinding stones for a step in. Eventually we return into the first area and turn left, passing Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’ and a good group of red ‘Bishop’ dahlias.

Walking up towards the entrance we pass strong summer plants on the right such as cannas, Cosmos, gladioli and variegated Miscanthus. Helianthus ‘Vanilla Ice’ offers the palest yellow. On the left, beneath the buddleias and the golden hop, is lower-level informal planting that includes Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ and Fuchsia ‘Thalia’, with snowberry and honeysuckle leaning over from above. The white Aster divaricatus makes a good show from mid-summer onwards.

At the end are pots with ferns and fuchsias. And as we leave we catch a glimpse of other good things down an alley to the left, including the red-berried Hypericum x inodorum ‘Magical Red’.

There is another gardened area just outside the front gate, with Berberis and other mature shrubs including camellia, different sorts of laurel and various annuals.

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