Hardwick's gardens get ready for a carnival of colour

Visitors in the Herb Garden at Hardwick

At every turn you'll likely find your senses stirred by the palette of emerging summer colour throughout Hardwick's historic gardens; pops from flowers, grasses, trees and shrubs, coupled with the scent of freshly cut grass and tended blooms, and the gentle hum of insects.

Every colour imaginable

This year, everything in the garden is about a month behind due to the cold weather. But as the season warms up a riot of colour will appear in all corners of Hardwick's gardens. 

Working your way along the paths in the West Court you'll pass a spectrum of colour provided by annuals. Starting from the gatehouse with white flowers, to the deep reds and purples by the house. During June a series of pop-up talks from our garden's team will give you the chance to find out more about the colours of this part of the gardens and Gertrude Jekyll's influence on the planting.

Normally at this time of year the south borders are in full bloom but the earlier cold weather has meant things are a little bit behind. But come late May, early June the borders are filled with pale and golden yellows, vivid purples, indigos, violets and burgundys. 

Come June the south border is in full bloom
The south border at Hardwick Hall
Come June the south border is in full bloom

Roses of the East

Duchess Evelyn (the last Lady of Hardwick) helped to create what you see today in the East Court. In the 1950s she introduced shrub roses into the borders. Their muted, pastel shades and scent are a joy in June.

The roses of the East Courtyard are a legacy of Duchess Evelyn
Hardwick garden roses in the the East Courtyard
The roses of the East Courtyard are a legacy of Duchess Evelyn

Delicate pinks and whites

Late spring is the time to visit the orchards which are in abundance with pink and white blossom, attracting insects of all sorts. 

The pinks and whites of blossom are one of the signs of early summer at Hardwick
The apple blossom in bloom at Hardwick
The pinks and whites of blossom are one of the signs of early summer at Hardwick

Green and pleasant produce

The cold winter has meant the veggies aren't as far on as they would normally be. But as the season warms up you'll find verdent swathes throughout the well-stocked vegetable and herb gardens, which produce from both is used daily in the Great Barn Restaurant. There will be bright green peas, mangetout, yellow dwarf beans, and courgettes amongst other things, which will be ripe for picking later in June. 

The luscious pinky-red and green rhubarb is harvested now, much of which will be used in our delicious rhubarb and ginger scones. 

Rhubarb is not only very tasty, but packed with nutrients too
Rhubarb grown in the recreated C19th garden at The Workhouse, Southwell, Nottinghamshire
Rhubarb is not only very tasty, but packed with nutrients too

The herb garden - one of the finest in the country - grows both culinary and medicinal herbs, which would have been used to help cure or sooth ailments in Bess' time. You can find out more about some of these plants and their uses at a special talk on 5 and 12 June (later dates also available). 

The herb garden at Hardwick is full of delights
Hardwick Hall viewed from the herb garden
The herb garden at Hardwick is full of delights

Enjoy these early summer delights at your leisure. There are plenty of paths to wander and spots to pause a while.