Spring in the garden at Ham House

Spring borders at Ham House

The first signs of spring are everywhere in the historic garden at Ham. As you pass through Ham House Meadow in front of the mansion gates, you’ll be walking among English bluebells and primroses.

You might be just outside central London, but once inside this tranquil 17th century walled garden, you'll find avenues of trees popping into bud, sunny-faced daffodils and thousands of tulips; as all around colourful new plant life bursts up to greet you.

Bluebells are among the flowers to look for this spring in the Wilderness Garden at Ham House and Garden, London.
Bluebells are among the flowers to look for this spring in the Wilderness Garden at Ham House and Garden, London.
Bluebells are among the flowers to look for this spring in the Wilderness Garden at Ham House and Garden, London.

Walk through the Wilderness

Waves of naturalising narcissus, clumps of bright bluebells, elegant hellebore with their rose-like flowers, delicate snake's head fritillaries, and cheerful yellow cowslips bring plenty of interest throughout the season to the dappled shade of the Wilderness Garden on the south side of the garden. All are flanked by tall hornbeam hedges starting to green up and a backdrop of field maple.

Borders bursting with colour

Closer to the house the sun is already bringing on the formal displays: scented narcissus are budding and pink peony will soon stand out against the cooler bluish white of Iris Germanica (bearded iris) on the South Terrace border in between tall green yew cones.

Nearby, in the Vine Border you'll find crocus, narcissus and over 2,000 white tulips are putting on a show. 

Spring comes to the South Terrace at Ham House and Garden, London.
Spring comes to the South Terrace at Ham House and Garden, London.
Spring comes to the South Terrace at Ham House and Garden, London.
The Kitchen Garden at Ham House and Garden, Richmond, London.
The Kitchen Garden at Ham House and Garden, Richmond, London.
The Kitchen Garden at Ham House and Garden, Richmond, London.

Kitchen Garden filling with early crops and ornamentals

In our Kitchen Garden, we are starting to sow seed, plant out and harvest. Asparagus and rhubarb are coming through, with other early crops including salads, chard, and broad beans. Look out for them on the menu in our café and on sale in the shop.

Vanessa from Ham's garden team holding a bunch of freshly picked rainbow chard in the Kitchen Garden at Ham House and Garden, London
Vanessa from Ham's garden team holding a bunch of freshly picked rainbow chard in the Kitchen Garden at Ham House and Garden, London
Vanessa from Ham's garden team holding a bunch of freshly picked rainbow chard in the Kitchen Garden at Ham House and Garden, London

Each year we grow scores of different varieties of fruit, vegetables and salad crops, many of which are heritage varities. If you're looking for tips for growing your own at home there are weekly Kitchen Garden tours run by our knowledgable garden volunteers or head over to our Garden Room where you can see plant lists and top tips from our Head Gardener Rosie and her team.

Elsewhere in the Kitchen Garden we keep the tradition of growing cut flowers for the house, and the first of the flowering ornamentals are starting to shine.

Special mention should be made of the tulips. These were eminently fashionable in the 17th century, when ‘tulip mania’ was at its peak in Holland and the bulbs exchanged hands for huge sums of money. Over 2,000 of these have been planted in this plot so there are plenty to enjoy and we can also offer some for sale as cut flowers for anyone who wants to take a little piece of Ham’s garden home with them.

Tulips and daffodils are blooming all around the 17th century Kitchen Garden at Ham House and Garden, London.
Tulips and daffodils are blooming all around the 17th century Kitchen Garden at Ham House and Garden, London.
Tulips and daffodils are blooming all around the 17th century Kitchen Garden at Ham House and Garden, London.