The Herbaceous Border at Anglesey Abbey

There's no doubt that this offers a relaxing space to sit and relax, or stroll with friends. Designed with care and attention, the Herbaceous Border is now one of the most anticipated areas within Lord Fairhaven's garden, with the first few pops of colour appearing in May ready for a spectacular show of colour throughout the months to follow.

The Herbaceous Border, located by design next to the Dahlia Border, was designed and planted by a good friend of Lord Fairhaven, Major Vernon Daniell in the early 1950's.

Considered unusual at the time, large clumps of single varieties were planted for their shape and form, rather than in blocks of colour sloping from the back of the beds which was common for the time. This was also made easier by the fact that the planting is strictly herbaceous, and contains no shrubs or roses which are quite common in mixed beds today. 

Follow the progress of the Herbaceous Border here

A carpet of cyclamen lining an avenue of trees

Anglesey Abbey Flower Forecast 

Find out what is looking at its best here at Anglesey Abbey: follow the journey of our celebrated gardens as they go from bud to bloom.

Strictly herbaceous

The garden is made up of five borders, and based around a broad semi-circle in design with a central area of grass, and enclosed by beech hedging, creating a room-like feel. Once described as majestic in scale, the length of the long straight border that draws your eye towards the Mill in the distance is 250m in length, completely unbroken except for a single paved bay which offers a spot to sit and enjoy the sun. The sweeping curve is broken into three, with a further two bays containing cast iron seats offering a shelter from the sun in which to admire the garden in. 

Today our team of seven gardeners look after over 230 varieties of plant which are individually chosen to reach their peak in June and July.

Work in the Herbaceous Border starts in early March, and the gardeners can regularly be seen throughout spring and early summer staking the plants to ensure they have adequate support. Once late summer arrives, the plants are cut down and the tops composted, which are then used as mulch elsewhere in the garden at a later date. 

Picture of 2016 Dahlia Lapel Badge next to a dahlia flower

Support the work in the gardens 

Pick up one of our garden inspired pin badges on your next visit to play your part in keeping Anglesey Abbey's gardens blooming. With three to choose from depending on the time of your visit, use it as a memento from your day spent with us. Badges can be picked up for a suggested £1 donation at various points across the estate. Looking for other way's to support us? Why not take part in the Special Places raffle. Click here to find out more.

Our favourites

Geranium endressii
A semi-evergreen perennial, geranium endressii have five pink pedals, and are a usually found in clumps. They make up one one of our selection of geraniums, with geranium ibericum, geranium phaeum and geranium psilostemon amongst others found within the Herbaceous Border. 

Delphinium 'Bruce' 
We have a few varieties of delphinium in the Herbaceous Border, with 'Blue Lagoon', 'Nimrod' and 'Gillian Dallas’ joining 'Bruce' in the gardens. A perennial, expected to reach 2m in height, it has dark green petals with vivid violet coloured flowers. 

Dictamnus albus
A woody-based perennial, the dictamnus albus is otherwise known as 'burning bush'. It will display flowers made up from five white or purple petals, and give off a fragrance when it's in bloom. 

Thalictrum aquilegiifolium
This can be found dotted across the Herbaceous borders, and is a vigorous herbaceous perennial. It has delicate white, pink or purple flowers in dense clusters found on tall stems, at approcimately 1 metre tall. As soon as the flowers have gone over, our garden team will begin to prune this in preparation for next years display. 

Crambe Cordifolia 
One of the more robust perennials in the border is the Cranbe cordifolia, sometimes known as Sea Kale. It has bold, dark green leaves and small, white scented flowers. In the autumn, this will be cut down to ground level, as we wait for nexy years stunning show.