Summer magic at Fenton House and Garden

From early through to late summer, there's always something to be seen and enjoyed in the garden, from returning favourites to new and exciting planting and colour combinations.

Summer in the garden at Fenton House means wonderful colour, scent, and sometimes surprising and unusual sights. 

The rose garden in June at Fenton House
The rose garden at Fenton House


In June, the rose garden comes into its own, with stems bowing under the weight of scented blooms. Cottage garden in style and feel, roses are under planted with traditional cottage favourites like phlox, foxgloves, poppies and London Pride, and herbs like sage. 

Elsewhere in the garden, colours are cooler and more subtle - blues, mauves and whites from alliums, iris and cat mint, and blowsy pink peonies - preparing for the excitement to come later. Along the terrace walls there are climbing and rambling roses blooming, such as 'Chaplin's Pink Climber', 'Chevy Chase', and Head Gardener's favourite, 'Kiftsgate', a huge, fast growing variety.

Bright summer border at Fenton House and Garden
Fenton House garden summer border

July and August

In July and August, the amazing lawn border is a vibrant sight, with hot, contrasting and sometimes clashing colours playing off one another. The Head Gardener's current summer favourite - Spanish Flag - can be seen in the lawn border and throughout the garden, as well as popular dahlias 'David Howard' and 'Bishop of Llandaff'.

Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff' at Fenton House and Garden
Red dahlia in the garden at Fenton House
Dahlia 'David Howard' at Fenton House and Garden
Orange dahlia in the garden at Fenton House

The cross borders is a secluded, partially hidden area of the garden between the formal lawn and the rose garden , ringed by yew hedges and the perfect spot in which to sit and reflect. In August and September, this small but wonderful area is seen to best advantage, with swathes of colour from Morning Glory, phlox and Russian Flag. 

Bench in the Cross Borders at Fenton House and Garden
Fenton House cross borders and garden bench

Up on the north terrace - the Head Gardener's favourite area - sun loving plants such as echiums, fennel, golden hops, artichokes, cosmos and salvia grow to impressive heights.

A secluded spot in the garden at Fenton House
Impressive echiums on the formal terrace at Fenton House and Garden

The orchard and kitchen garden

Once the apple trees have blossomed in spring, the serious business of fruit growing can begin. The 32 heritage varieties all mature and ripen at different stages, but by September, branches are laden with fruit. 

Apples in the orchard at Fenton House
Close-up of apples in the orchard at Fenton House

The meadow grass and cow parsley between the trees is kept long until being cut in late July, and in the kitchen garden there are strawberries, lettuce, beans and courgettes, as well as pumpkins and corn towards autumn. A new addition to look out for in the kitchen garden area this year is a 'veg avenue', interplanted with nasturtium and cosmos.

The kitchen garden and orchard beyond at Fenton House and garden
Cut flowers borders and kitchen garden at Fenton House

The kitchen garden also houses a cut flower border, where the Head Gardener and volunteer team sometimes grow immature plants until they are larger and ready to move to other parts of the garden. This border is often an accidental source of inspiration for unthought of planting and colour combinations.