The garden at Polesden Lacey

A view across the rose garden and the wider estate taken from the water tower

The gardens at Polesden Lacey have something to offer in every season. From exceptional views over Ranmore Common from the South Lawn, to peace and quiet in the old kitchen garden and upper sunk garden, to stunning colour and scent around the rose garden and double herbaceous borders, there is always something beautiful to enjoy.


Rose Garden

The Edwardian walled rose garden boasts well over 2000 roses, including over 100 rambling roses on the Pergola.  The rest of the roses in the centre beds are made up of around 35 different varieties of Hybrid Tea, Floribunda and Hybrid Musk types, all in bloom from June to late August and beyond. Earlier in the spring, the lilac Wisteria bursts to life on the water tower, a sight not to be missed. 

Rose Garden in full bloom
Rose Garden in full bloom at Polesden Lacey
Rose Garden in full bloom
Rose Garden in full bloom at Polesden Lacey

Then & Now Garden Tour

Join us on an inspiring walk around the formal gardens. Learn about its history, our conservation work and how we’re constantly adapting. You’ll gaining an understating of why the garden looks as it does, our contemporary gardening methods and share some great stories from Mrs Greville’s heyday.

Tours are approx. 1 hr and take place daily at 11.30am and 1.30pm. There’s no need to book, just meet at the well head at the front of the house.

*Subject to availability*


Cut Flower Garden

The cut flower garden provides blooms to the house and other visitor areas throughout the year. It is run by some of our fantastic volunteers, and is always full of an eclectic and colourful mix of blooms like Dahlias, Zinnias, Gladioli and Phlox. 

Herbaceous Borders

We are home to one of the finest double herbaceous borders in England, and throughout summer and autumn, it is full of bright colours and stunning scents. These borders feature perennials such as Helenuium, Day lilies, Rudbeckia and Red hot pokers; the bold mauve Hydrangea at the west end of the borders is a definite highlight from late August. 

Old Kitchen Garden

In spring, blossom on the cherry trees line the path from the thatched bridge to the summer house, while throughout the summer and into autumn, wildflowers pop with pastel colours. The annual meadow borders through the centre of the old kitchen garden are sown each year to evoke the spirit of the perennial herbaceous borders that Mrs Greville had in this part of the garden.  

Delight at the dainty snowdrops
Snowdrops in Polesden's winter garden
Delight at the dainty snowdrops

Winter Garden

As the name suggests, our Graham Stewart Thomas-designed winter garden comes to life at the end of the year. From November through to March, delicate yellow aconites and carpets of snowdrops flower in the centre bed, shaded by three Persian Ironwood trees.  The outer borders, one of which has been newly planted in 2017, are filled with scented shrubs such as Sarcococca and Mahonia.

Vegetable Garden

Another volunteer-run area, the veg garden provides produce to our kitchens all year round – from peas to potatoes and beans to courgettes. Our veg team also tend to the Herb Bed and the soon-to-be-introduced fruit cage in the part of the garden too. Why not pop into the Granary Café to taste some of our local produce!

The newly planted spring borders
Spring flowers in a garden border
The newly planted spring borders

Spring Borders

Not many gardens have dedicated spring interest areas but here at Polesden, the newly planted spring borders will come to life from March with the likes of orange Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’, purple Polemonium ‘Lambrook Mauve’ and dainty white Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’ to name but a few. 

Preserve Copse

In the spring, Preserve Copse is one of the best places in the gardens to see bluebells, and in the autumn the trees are full of the beautifully bright colours of the season. It’s a lovely place for a shaded and peaceful walk, and it’s also where you’ll find our bird hide. 

The Peony Borders in summer at Polesden Lacey
The Peony Borders at Polesden Lacey
The Peony Borders in summer at Polesden Lacey

Formal Garden Rooms

To the west of the Rose Garden you’ll find three seasonal garden rooms.  The Iris Garden is stunning in May, filled with an array of historic iris’.  The Peony Borders are in flower between late April and early June and are complimented by bulbs such as alliums and climbers such as Clematis on the wall behind.  The feature area is probably the Lavender Garden though which is buzzing with bees and heady with scent for much of the Summer.

House Borders

There are borders on all sides of the house, each planted with masses of bulbs for display every Spring and then herbaceous perennials such as Salvias to delight during Summer.  The walls of the house are also clothed in a variety of climbers and wall shrubs, the orange berries of Pyracantha on the east side to the abundant Banksia rose on the west.

Take a seat and take in the view
The view down Long Walk at Polesden Lacey
Take a seat and take in the view

The Long Walk

The only formal element of the garden to the east of the house, and probably the most historic part of the garden, this 450m terrace affords mesmerising views across the estate.  It’s flanked by the atmospheric, shaded Nun’s Walk to the north and connects with our Pinetum to the west.

Croquet Lawns

Polesden Lacey has always been a place for recreation and play.  Tennis and golf during the Edwardian hey day has now been replaced with these four croquet pitches which can be hired from time to time via visitor reception.

Our Margaret Greville rose in the Ladies Garden
The 'Margaret Greville' rose in the Polesden Lacey Ladies Garden
Our Margaret Greville rose in the Ladies Garden

The Ladies Garden

The resting place for Maggie Greville, this area was her favourite place to sit during her time here.  It’s fitting then that we have planted a curtain of Rosa ‘Margaret Greville’ in front of her grave, together with a complimentary collection of other plants such as Penstemon, Nepeta and Gernaium as well as some purple asters, which together with pink rose petals were used to line her grave when she was buried.

Dog Graves

Although she had no children, Maggie Greville certainly had plenty of dogs whilst at Polesden Lacey, and they are all buried here.  Our new wheelchair and buggy access path runs past this contemplative spot, linking Lime walk with the West Lawn.  We plan to redesign and replant the surrounding area in 2019.

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