Sunflowers make the most of the autumn sunshine at Calke Abbey © Katie Mayes

Sunflowers make the most of the autumn sunshine at Calke Abbey

What's in bloom?

The changing colours of autumn make a vibrant display at Calke.
Sunflowers make the most of the autumn sun whilst dahlias and chrysanthemums make interesting borders.
The physic garden has had a bountiful harvest of fat pumpkins and colourful chard. Why not come to one of our Hallowe'en pumpkin parties on 23 and 30 October 11am-3.30pm?



Kitchen garden

Like the house the old kitchen garden has remained how it was found.

Yielding more produce than was needed, with the surplus being sold to local traders, the kitchen garden thrived until the outbreak of the World War II. Just like the house this garden deteriorated with neglect.

Physic garden

Colourful chard from the physic garden at Calke

Dating from the 18th-century, this garden was originally created to cultivate medicinal herbs and plants and over 350 herbs were planted. Today, it still provides fresh herbs to the restaurant in the stable block.

The orangery

Flaking paint reflects the years of neglect the orangery suffered

Being the oldest surviving garden building, the orangery has had repairs to combat the neglect of the 20th-century. The cracked plaster and flaking paintwork have been kept to reflect the dereliction of the Calke estate.

Pleasure grounds

View of the Pleasure Grounds at Calke Abbey

The informal, and dense, planting of trees and shrubs in the early 19th-century provided a natural screen from the mansion and provided a perfect setting for summer picnics and evening strolls.


The Grotto in the pleasure grounds

The grotto is a typical inclusion of an early 19th-century landscape that adds a sense of fantasy and romanticism to the garden. It also served as a cool retreat during a summer stroll.

Gardeners' bothy

The gardeners bothy a striking eighteenth century garden building © NTPL

Once the nerve centre of the 6 acres of formal gardens this building reflects the faded grandeur of the mansion. Peer into the ground floor rooms which are full of equipment from yesteryear.