Gardens and Parkland

Sweet smell of success

Lime Avenue at Montacute House © Staff.Montacute

Lime Avenue at Montacute House

Are limes are never sour.  In July, the air is filled with a sweet perfumed smell, and with no obvious signs of flowers, visitors often wonder where the scent is coming from.  Look up, and listen for the buzzing of the bees and you will see that our Lime trees are in flower, indicating that summer is finally here.

Blooming borders

East Court at Montacute House © Staff.Montacute

East Court at Montacute House

The East Court is looking at its best, filled with both colour and scent.  Some of the stars of the show are the white peonies, the rugosa rose and the honeysuckle.

Bees are buzzing and the swallows and house martins and gliding across the lawns in their aerobatic display of skill and speed.

Fishy friends

Montacute House and Fountain in the North Garden © Montacute Staff

Montacute House and Fountain in the North Garden

We have welcomed two new additions to our family of koi carp in the North Garden pond.  We have decided to call them Cromwell and Wolsey, in honour of the recent Wolf Hall filming.  The North Garden featured in the recent BBC production as both the garden of Greenwich Palace and, surprisingly a Thames jetty.

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.