Discover spring delights in the garden at Charlecote

Enjoy cheery spring bulbs in the gardens at Charlecote Park

Over 90% of us say that 'just looking at a garden lifts our mood', according to the Royal Horticultural Society, and you’ll always discover something to cheer you in our gardens whenever you visit.

The bulbs that our volunteer gardeners planted last autumn are coming into flower now and they are brightening up the borders and pots. Later in spring, as soon as the apricot, apple and pear blossom blooms in Green Court, the bees are happy.

Spring colour comes to the gardens
Tulips and polyanthus in garden pots in spring at Charlecote
Spring colour comes to the gardens

Take a stroll around the gardens that Mary Elizabeth Lucy loved so dearly in Victorian times and you’ll find our gardeners – staff and volunteers – at work, whatever the weather. They’ll tell you more if you want to chat, or just take a seat and enjoy the results of all their hard work.

Matt and the garden volunteers have thousands of plug plants to prepare
Charlecote garden volunteers pot up plug plants in greenhouse
Matt and the garden volunteers have thousands of plug plants to prepare

Victorian influences

Mary Elizabeth’s passion for plants 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 design and organise the back-breaking planting of thousands of new spring plants.

The parterre is always a great spot for a photograph - do let us know what you think and send us your photos on social media.

If you've spotted a plant you'd like to know more about, you can contact us via social media too.

Enjoy some blue sky thinking in the gardens this spring
Is there anything more beautiful than Charlecote's cherry blossom against a blue spring sky?
Enjoy some blue sky thinking in the gardens this spring

Shady informality

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.

Beautiful hellebores bring colour to the spring gardens
Pink double hellebores in spring garden at Charlecote
Beautiful hellebores bring colour to the spring gardens

Our hellebore collection and flowering shrubs make this a real plant-lovers' delight - see how many plants you don't recognise here!

Trachystemon orientalis, early-flowering borage, spreads rapidly but gives us early spring colour
Look out for trachystemon in the spring garden borders at Charlecote Park
Trachystemon orientalis, early-flowering borage, spreads rapidly but gives us early spring colour

Delightful playhouse

The little thatched summerhouse next to the Orangery tea-room is too fragile for us to be able to open it to visitors.

However, many visitors ask about the origins of this delightful little building (which Mary Elizabeth Lucy had built as a playhouse for her grandchildren) so our volunteer photographer takes a look inside here.

Modern formality

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 three-dimensional mathematical relationships between the house, the gatehouse and this lawned forecourt.

There's nothing like spring flowers and blue sky to cheer you
Let Charlecote's spring flowers cheer you after a long winter
There's nothing like spring flowers and blue sky to cheer you

The ancient wisteria on the house comes in to flower in late spring - we believe it to be around 200 years old which would make it one of the first wisterias planted in this country after plant-hunters brought seeds back from China.

Don't forget to browse in our Avenue plant centre next to the car park. We're stocking many of the plants you'll see today, and every plant you buy helps us to look after our gardens.

Brunnera macrophylla looks like forget-me-nots but has none of the self-seeding bad habits
Brunnera macrophylla in spring garden at Charlecote Park
Brunnera macrophylla looks like forget-me-nots but has none of the self-seeding bad habits

We have a team of volunteers who count and monitor the butterflies - see if you can spot an early yellow brimstone today; and don’t forget to look out for our friendly robins, happy to hop about close to visitors’ feet.

Explore Charlecote's grounds - many areas are completely wheelchair accessible

Access for all 

Find out more about accessibility for all our visitors.

Leucojum vernum - spring snowflake - looks like tall snowdrops in the woodland garden
Leucojum vernum in woodland garden at Charlecote
Leucojum vernum - spring snowflake - looks like tall snowdrops in the woodland garden