Reawakening the garden at Kedleston Hall

Wildflowers in bloom at Kedleston Hall

At Kedleston there are secrets in the soil which whisper a garden long forgotten. Rose gardens, kitchen gardens, a swimming pool and pergolas have all been in this space in the past.

Over the years, the original 18th century garden and features virtually all disappeared. In 2019 we began an exciting project to reawaken the character and distinctive features that were designed to complement the hall.

With access to old plans, plant lists, and a range of experts, the gardens team of staff and volunteers began the project to restore this space to it's 18th century magnificence. The main piece of work in 2019 was to create the beds, and sow with a mix of wildflower seeds, to offer interest in the garden for insects and visitors. The seed mix included bishops weed, ammi majus, black-eyed Susan, rudbeckia hirta, larkspur, delphinium ajacis, red orache and atriplex hortensis.

Following the success of 2019, annual flower seeds were sown into 4 of the 5 beds. The final bed is more labour intensive and has been planted with a carefully selected mix of shrubs and other typical 18th century plants which offer year round interest. This bed is part of a long-term project and will take a decade to mature. These will be cared for by the garden's team of staff and volunteers.

This year, the process of spraying, rotavating and sowing seed has begun again. When you visit Kedleston, take a look at the garden and see the changes taking place. In the loggia building and around the garden you'll find extra information about the project and the previous ways guests to the hall would have used the space.

We'll be posting images through the seasons on social media, and on this web page.

Latest updates

14 Jun 21

June's display

The plentiful rain in the last month coupled with the high levels of sunshine has had quite on impact on all 5 of the flower beds. The wildflower beds are now awash with California poppies and foxgloves.

Flower bed full of orange poppies and purple and white foxgloves

12 Apr 21

Treading in the seed

Now the soil has been rotavated, the team could begin the task of sowing the annual wildflower seeds. This included a socially distanced line dance of staff and volunteers to tread in the seed. The display of flowers is designed to last from spring all the way into autumn, providing a different view depending on when you visit.

Staff tread in the seed

06 Apr 21

Rotavating the soil

Earlier in the year, the garden's team of staff and volunteers removed developing weeds. This was done both by hand and by spraying. Once completed the team rotavated the soil in preparation for sowing the new wildflower seeds.

Field being rotavated