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Despite its name, Midsummer’s Day really feels like the start of summer as we hope for warmer days and look forward to the real glories of the garden at Charlecote.
Precision in the Parterre
The formal planting in the Parterre reaches its colourful peak by August and we put a planting plan at the top of the steps so you can see what we’ve used each year to create this vibrant showpiece.
In early summer the Parterre hedges are all cut to give their crisp lines - we can manage this in just one day with two people cutting and four clearing up.
Head for the lush Long Border where the herbaceous planting has something new in flower every week, with scarlet and orange crocosmias, spiky blue echinops, and spires of blue and white delphiniums and aconites.
Later, these give way to achilleas, magnificent dahlias and day lilies. There’s scent too from sweet peas twining up their supports, elegant lilies and pale pink saponaria at the end of summer.
Our gardeners fill every corner with plants - take a look behind the little summerhouse and in one of the pots you'll see Fuchsia fulgens - in its native Mexico it can reach 9 feet tall and is pollinated by hummingbirds, but here our climate keeps it to a much more manageable size.
We're planting even more dahlias this year and nearly 70 new roses around the gardens and we hope they'll all be flowering by the end of summer.
On the far side of the croquet lawn is a large clump of Camassia quamash, with spikes of starry blue flowers. The bulbs, apparently tasting of pears (‘quamash’ means sweet), were eaten by Native Americans. Victorian plant hunter David Douglas discovered an unfortunate side-effect, complaining of almost being blown out of his sleeping quarters by ‘the strength of the wind’.
Woodland water feature
We are still working on our five-year plan for the woodland garden, and here you’ll see our elegant water feature, a beautiful testament to the superb craftsmanship of Whichford Pottery, who based the design on the alabaster bowl in the Great Hall.
The delicious deep maroon martagon lilies at the entrance to the woodland garden are among the plants mentioned in our archives. Meander round the paths and you’ll see rare and unusual plants to amaze our visitors today, such as the alien-looking arisaemas and Eucomis bicolor (easily spotted when you know it’s also known as the pineapple lily).
Peas in our thyme
We like to go for bold and bright in the pots at the entrance to the Orangery restaurant.
However, don’t miss the subtle planting in the tea garden by the Stables where you can pick up a drink or a snack from our tea tent on busy days.
We’re planting this area in traditional cottage-garden style, mixing cutting-flowers for the house with herbs and edibles for use in the restaurant.
Come and enjoy our gardens to feel relaxed or inspired, there’s something for everyone.