Gardens and Parkland

Totally tulips

Tulips in bloom at Montacute House. © Montacute Staff

Tulips in bloom at Montacute House.

Last autumn the garden team were busy planting over 2800 bulbs, and now we eagerly awaiting the arrival of the first signs of colour.

Nature’s clock can run fast or slow so please call us if you are keen to see the blooms.

Beautiful bluebells

Beautiful bluebells on Ladies Walk © Montacute Staff

Beautiful bluebells on Ladies Walk

As night follows day, the wild bluebells in Ladies Walk will always follow the tulips in adding a sea of colour on this estate walk, which is only five minutes from our gates and is approximately a 30 minute round ramble.

Ask at reception for directions.


A perfect spot

A family picnic in full swing

A family picnic in full swing

The Cedar Lawn is the perfect spot to roll out a blanket and enjoy a picnic with family and friends on a sunny afternoon. It’s also a great place for a game of hide and seek amongst the wibbly wobbly hedges, or to relax with a good book. Pick your spot on the lawn and spend a moment away from the hustle and bustle.

Five fantastic views

  • West Drive to Montacute House © NTPL

    West Drive

    Get the full lantern effect of the house and its walls of glass from the top of the West Drive

  • Lime Walk in the parkland  © Montacute Staff

    Lime Avenue

    Stroll to the top of the Lime Avenue and admire the view as an Elizabethan visitor

  • Stunning architecture © Montacute Staff

    East Court

    Be inspired by the walls of glass, the glow of ham stone, and the architecture of house

It's a wibbly wobbly world

Wibbly Wobbly © National Trust

Wibbly Wobbly

We believe that the hedges are about 150 years old. Until 1947 they were a similar height and depth but straight, without all the lumps and bumps you see today. During the harsh winter of 1947, heavy snow remained for weeks, if not months, causing the flat tops of the hedges to collapse under the weight.

This often happens but the snow usually disappears quickly and the hedges bounce back to their original shape. However, by the spring of 1948 the snow had made such an impact that the hedges did not bounce back. Over time the collapsed hedges became lovingly known as ‘wibbly wobbly’.

Hedge management

Gardener clipping the ’wobbly hedges’ at Montacute House © NTPL

Gardener clipping the ’wobbly hedges’ at Montacute House

The hedges are English yew and we start cutting them in August each year. The job normally takes about three months because there is over a mile of hedging that needs a trim. By cutting the hedges in August we can be sure that the plants have finished growing for the season, which leaves them crisp and clean for the winter and the next season before they become hairy again.

The wibbly wobbly hedges take two people ten days to complete and we use electric hedgecutters, platform scaffolding and a cherry picker to reach the tops.

We feed the hedges with a balanced tree and shrub fertiliser every few years to keep them fit and healthy.