Gardens and parks in London and the South East

See pioneering garden techniques in action at rose gardens, water gardens, winter gardens, grand parkland and more across the South East.

Our gardens

This article was created before the coronavirus crisis, and may not reflect the current situation. All of the gardens shown are open but there may be restrictions in place. Please make sure you check web pages for individual places before you travel for booking details and the most up to date information about visiting

As long summer nights give way to cooler days, the colours in our gardens in and around the South East slide gently into warming tones. From the burgeoning dahlias and bulging pumpkins to early harvest pickings, the holidays may be over but many shrubs, climbers and herbaceous perennials aren’t ready to pack up just yet.

The best autumn gardens in the South East

Autumn gardening for nature

What to plant

It’s increasingly possible to extend the season and have pollenating flowers in our gardens all the way into the autumn. Japanese anemones, sedum varieties and Dahlias continue flowering into October in some parts of the country – just remember to plant the open flower Dahlias so that pollinating insects can access their harvest.

Autumn is a great time to think about providing more flowers for the following year. Most bulbs need to be planted in the autumn months ready to burst into flower from early spring onwards. It’s also a good idea to lift and split clumps of bulbs to avoid overcrowding and create an even bigger display.

Helping wildlife

It’s tempting to ‘tidy up’ our gardens at the end of the season. Perennials and shrubs are not as appealing to look at with dead-looking stems and brown curling leaves. However, while they might not look nice, they give shelter to insects and in some cases, eggs are laid here and larvae lie dormant, ready to hatch the following year. If you can bear it, leaving at least some of your garden wild until the spring, will provide a habitat for a whole variety of creatures.

These little garden residents are also food for the bigger visitors like hedgehogs and birds giving them sustenance through the cold winter months.

Hedgerow harvest

If you’re lucky enough to have room in your own garden, or access to a community space, then hedgerows are a great way of encouraging wildlife. A strip of mixed hedging, with native species such as hawthorn, dogwood, hazel and crab apple, will give local wildlife plenty to feast on over the winter months. From the hawthorn and crab apple soft fruits and berries to hazelnuts, they will get all the nutrition they need.

You might think of gardens being a spring or summer thing, but there's still plenty to see in our gardens across the South East this winter. From snowdrops at Stowe in Buckinghamshire, to aconites at Polesden Lacey in Surrey and brightly coloured dogwood at Mottisfont in Hampshire.

Frosty winter gardens

Snowdrops at Hughenden, a National Trust property in Buckinghamshire

Snowdrops in London and the South East 

Wrap up warm and enjoy a chilly walk among the snowdrops to kick-start your New Year. From swathes of 'Stowedrops' in Buckinghamshire to clusters of little white flowers at Winkworth Arboretum, here are some of the best places to see them.

Leaves will be unfurling and buds will be bursting into colour in our gardens across London and the South East. From dramatic parterres and sweeping landscapes to walled gardens and orchards, you'll find gardens dotted with jewel-like cyclamens and tulips - the region will be bursting into spring.

Looking ahead to spring flowers

A family exploring the grounds of Polesden Lacey, Surrey

Surrey 

We've selected some of the very best places for you to enjoy the delights of spring including the Surrey Hills, Polesden Lacey and Winkworth Arboretum.

Greys Court wisteria plant in full bloom

Wisteria in the South East 

In late May and early June when the sun is out, you can often smell the sweet perfume of wisteria in the gardens of our places in the South East. Find your nearest place for a relaxing garden day out.

We're hoping for waterlilies in the lakes at Sheffield Park in Sussex, and  rambling roses at the world-famous rose garden at Mottisfont in Hampshire next summer. You'll be able to take in secret gardens like at Fenton House in Hampstead, London too. Here's to a summer of glorious garden colour at your local National Trust garden in the South East.

Plan next summer's trip

A bright summer border in the garden in front of Waddesdon Manor

Buckinghamshire

Many gardens are at their peak during the summer months, busting with scented roses, vibrant peonies and glorious bedding schemes. It's a wonderful time to visit summer gardens in Buckinghamshire.

Colourful wall-climbing roses in the walled gardens at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Hampshire

Dusky blooms spill out into Mottisfont's walled garden and along Hinton Ampner's grassy terraces. There's eye-popping colour everywhere you look at this time of year, from The Vyne's magnificent dahlia border to kitchen gardens brimming with lush leafy salads.

Dark red rose climbing on the Cromwellian building

Rose gardens in London and the South East 

Enjoy the delightful scent and rich colour from the crowds of roses at many of our finest National Trust gardens across the South East this summer.