Summer time in the garden at Ham

The view of the Cherry Garden with the lavender in bloom and Ham House in the background.

Tucked behind a row of trees, where the Thames weaves its way past reed beds and ancient meadows, the garden at Ham House has an air of tranquillity that steeps and simmers in summer’s growing warmth.

This green oasis is only 30 minutes from central London, but blends perfectly with the local landscape – known in summer for its wildflowers, birds, bees and grazing rare breed cattle.

The view of the plant beds in the Kitchen Garden filled with fruit, flowers and vegetables from a seat outside of the Orangery at Ham.

Treat your senses to the Kitchen Garden

At the heart of Ham’s summer garden is the historic Kitchen Garden. This area dates back to the 1650s when it would have provided all the fruit and vegetables needed to feed the whole household.  The design was ornamental as well as practical with vegetables and flowers sharing space. Today, ten large beds are filled with rows of vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers. Everywhere you turn there is temptingly delicious produce, from plums and apricots growing on the walls to plump, ripe berries and currants. There’s even an edible flower plot where you can taste petals and buds as well as a young orchard of 30 apple trees.

The Cherry Garden at Ham House, filled with lavender in summer

Formal gardens alive with colour and scent

Summer is the best time to visit for Cherry Garden flowering with over 1200 lavender plants in full bloom surrounded by box topiary. Enjoy the gentle perfume of these fragrant plants as you walk around this elegant formal garden. Don’t miss: the statue of Bacchus, the god of wine which is an original piece from the 17th century Lauderdale's garden.

A shaded seating area nestles amongst the flowers and trees of the wilderness at Ham

Wilderness at Ham

If you need to wind down at the end of a busy day exploring the summer gardens at Ham, we recommend the quiet wilderness area furthest from the house. There are plenty of spots and seats to take in views of the winding paths and flower borders - or bring your favourite book to enjoy some ‘me’ time with a slice of Ham-made cake.

Visitors on a tour through the gardens at Ham House and Garden.

Tours at Ham House and Garden

Join us for one of our free tours and find out something new about Ham. Tours are led by one of our knowledgeable volunteers who want to share all they know about this special place.