A Spring Garden

Daffodils blooming in the parterre

After the foggy mornings and dark evenings of winter, enjoy the beginnings of spring as life returns to Hanbury’s gardens. From beds of colourful tulips to buds of delicate blossom, our gardens are finally waking up.

Signs of Spring

Spring is the ideal time to explore Hanbury’s gardens. From mid-February onwards we start to see early signs, as the trees begin to show hints of green once again, the buds start appearing in the borders and the first of the new lambs arrive out in the park.

The first signs of spring come with the appearance of swathes of snowdrops around the gardens. Typically the best display is lining Cedar Walk from the Great Garden all the way down to the Ice House. Daffodils typically follow in March and April - quintessential sign of spring with their bright-coloured blooms; see them are their finest down in Kytes Orchard.

Snowdrops along Cedar Walk
Snowdrops along Cedar Walk

Elsewhere, look out for the signs of the Parterre’s ribbon border returning to life. The explosions of stunning, bright colour are carefully planned with thousands of bulbs planted every autumn ready for the following spring. With a colourful array of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths the parterre is sure to be filled with impressive colour and scent.

Daffodils blooming in the parterre
Daffodils blooming in the parterre

The lovely old Walled Orchard is also a must see, here our gardeners grow 56 varieties of apples including Golden Pippin, Howgate Wonder and the traditional Bramley. In spring, we’re always assured a stunning display of pink-tinged apple blossom on the branches. Be sure to stop and take a look at the trees heavy and leaden with blossom in May!

Apple blossom on the branches in the orchard
Apple blossom on the branches in the orchard

Spring Wildlife

It’s a great time for wildlife watching too! Hanbury provides the ideal habitat for birds, insects and a whole host of other animals and is a great place to watch the wildlife go by.

After the long winter, migrating birds return to spend summer in our garden. The return of the birdsong dawn chorus is a sure sign that spring is on the way. Spot chiffchaffs from mid-March, swallows and house martins from mid-April and swifts in late April or early May.

Also, look closely and you may spot a small brown bird blending in with the bark of a tree - as it creeps upwards, reaching the treetop canopy before flying back down again, know that you've spied a treecreeper.

One of our favourite sights in the spring is the new ducklings. They’re frequently seen down at the Mirror Pool or following mum around the gardens and Stableyard.

Ducklings nesting by the Mirror Pool
Ducklings nesting by the Mirror Pool

Walled Garden

Enjoy a little seclusion among the flowers, fruits and vegetables of the peaceful Walled Garden. The Vernon family would have used the seasonal produce grown here to supply their kitchen and we continue this tradition by using the fruits and vegetables in our tearoom.

Spread over one and a half acres, our productive Walled Garden is certified organic by the Soil Association. The spring months are some of the most productive here with a bountiful harvest of winter leeks, kale, cabbages and rhubarb. Top of our gardener’s to do list at this time of year, is to harvest the early produce for use in our tearooms and for sale at the produce stall in the garden for you to enjoy at home.

Autumn produce for sale in the Walled Garden
Autumn produce for sale in the Walled Garden

Over in the tearoom, delicious warming soups are made with Hanbury grown produce. Rhubarb from the Mushroom House is used in our freshly baked cakes and crumbles. Even the eggs are fresh from the chickens which live down in the Walled Garden too.

Our Walled Garden has also been home to our chickens since 2010. We currently have Bantams, Pekin and Dutch Gold as well as White Leghorn chickens and four Cheshire Blues.  We usually feed our chickens between 1.30-2pm each day, so stop by and say hello.

You’ll also find our bee hives in the garden too which are looked after and cared for by our volunteer beekeepers, Tim and Lucy.

Beekeeping demonstration in the Walled Garden
Beekeeping demonstration in the Walled Garden

Spring Highlights

  • Spring flowers begin popping up around the gardens from mid-February onwards. From the early snowdrops along Cedar Walk to the later carpet of Daffodils over in Kytes Orchard and finally the beautiful display of bluebells out in the park.
  • Stroll through the parterre and see the ribbon border beginning to bloom. Throughout the spring, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips fill the parterre with colour and scent.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for the first signs of our new lambs, ducklings and baby moorhens. They’re usually visible around the park and gardens from March onwards.
  • Later in the spring, visit the orchards and see the branches of our apple and pear trees heavy with blossom.
New spring lambs leaping through the park
New spring lambs leaping through the park

Find out more...

Most days you’ll find our gardening team at work, whatever the weather. They’ll be happy to tell you more about the gardens and share a few of their tips, or you can just take a seat and enjoy the results of all their hard work.

Garden Tours

Look out for guided walks with our knowledgeable garden volunteers, where you will learn more about the history of the garden and estate, the plants that make the garden so unique, as well as gardening hints and tips.

All of our garden tours are run by our volunteer team and as such may not be available every day. Please check at Visitor Reception when you arrive, for availability or find one of our blackboards around the garden.