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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 - take a look at our planting plan at the top of the steps so you can see what we’ve used each year to create this vibrant showpiece.
Visit us in early summer and you may just find us cutting all the Parterre hedges 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.
Enjoy a relaxing game of croquet, and on the far side of the croquet lawn you'll see 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 - we'll be pruning away some of the old overgrown shrubs this year. This tranquil area is enhanced by 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 Victorians loved to show off rare and unusual plants, and today you'll see alien-looking arisaemas and Eucomis bicolor (easily spotted when you know it’s also known as the pineapple lily). The delicious deep maroon martagon lilies at the entrance to the woodland garden are among the plants mentioned in our archives.
Peas in our thyme
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. Discover our plant sales stand here too and take home something for your own garden.
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.