Best flower gardens to visit in Bucks this summer

The parterre at Hughenden

There’s nothing like an English garden on a summer’s day. Small flowers tumble in tangled profusion in herbaceous borders, bright spikes thrust for attention in bedding displays and intrepid climbers splash walls with their colour.

Walking around a garden, drinking in the sight and scent of those full blooms hanging heavy in the languid air of a warm afternoon is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. The National Trust cares for some of the biggest and most beguiling gardens in the area.

Hughenden Manor’s parterre is a sight to behold in July. This year, the High Wycombe manor’s garden team have recreated Mary-Anne Disraeli’s display from 1958. Heliotropes, Nicotiana and Salvias have been planted as a striking blue backdrop for taller flaming orange Calendulas and Cosmos.

Also, don’t miss the head gardener’s favourite tree in July. The Crimean Lime flowers for just one week but has an incredible fragrance that reaches the terrace at the other end of the garden.

Waddesdon is deservedly famous for its flamboyant parterre. The design of the bedding is always based on a collection object or work of art. This year it is bursting with 19,000 yellow begonias, gold marigolds and light blue petunias depicting the sun god, Apollo. It recreates a section of the Savonnerie carpet in the Red drawing room. 

Throughout the summer you can enjoy a free guided tour of the different areas of Waddesdon's gardens on Wednesdays and Fridays at 2pm. Meet outside the Manor gift shop.

You can while away a whole day at Cliveden, near Maidenhead. The historic estate is 350 years old this year and its gardens are grade 1 listed.

The Rose Garden is based on former Cliveden resident, Lord Astor’s vision to draw visitors in and envelop them in colour and scent. A phasing of colour takes visitors on a journey from pale yellows in the east through bright oranges to deep velvety reds in the west.

The Long Garden is aptly named. Long, narrow box-edged beds are filled with flowers to create rich blocks of colour that stretch far into the distance. Flowering climbers creep along the boundary walls as a backdrop to the herbaceous borders.

The parterre is the showstopper, though. It was created in 1849 by Head Gardener John Fleming, a pioneer of ribbon and carpet bedding. To this day they’re full to bursting with bright colour from July through to September.