A garden for all seasons
Take a stroll around the gardens that Mary Elizabeth Lucy loved so dearly in Victorian times and whatever the weather, you’ll find our gardeners – staff and volunteers – at work all year round. They’ll tell you more if you want to chat, or just take a seat and enjoy the results of all their hard work.
There’s always something to discover in the gardens whenever you visit.
Stoop to find a hidden delight in the woodland garden that you wouldn’t have spotted if perhaps you hadn’t sheltered from a shower. Scented shrubs will lift your spirits in winter and no-one should miss the flamboyant spring tulip display in the parterre. Pause to appreciate a show-stopping swathe of colour in summer when the herbaceous borders come to life.
Mary Elizabeth’s presence still influences the gardens. Her formal riverside parterre was carefully reinstated twenty years ago and twice a year our gardeners skilfully co-ordinate a new planting plan and organise the back-breaking planting of thousands of new bulbs and bedding plants.
Now known as the woodland garden, Mary Elizabeth’s Wilderness flourishes beyond the long border. Her Victorian visitors – like our visitors today - would have been entranced by rare and unusual shade-loving plants and ferns in this tranquil haven. The 21st-century Whichford Pottery basin is based on the alabaster vase that Mary Elizabeth and George Hammond bought in Florence in 1841 that you’ll find in the great hall.
The Orangery tea-room once housed fashionable Victorian ornamental exotics and the little thatched summerhouse next to the Orangery has recently undergone restoration work, funded partly by the proceeds of raffle tickets bought by our kind visitors in previous years.
Mary Elizabeth had the summerhouse built for her grandchildren and it was based on one that she remembered from her childhood in Wales.
You can see how the Lucy family influence still prevails in the gardens today with the topiary in Green Court. The present baronet, Sir Edmund Fairfax-Lucy created the formal design based on mathematical relationships between the house, the gatehouse and this lawned forecourt.
And don’t forget to look out for our friendly robins, happy to hop about close to our visitors.