The garden at Kingston Lacy

Wildflowers in the Japanese Garden at Kingston Lacy in Dorset

No matter what time of year it is, there's something to see in Kingston Lacy's wonderful garden. From the earliest snowdrops to greet a new year, through spring cherry blossom and summer's traditional herbaceous borders to the astonishing colours of autumn acers, you can always immerse yourself in nature here.

Seasonal highlights

Head over to the Japanese Garden to see the acers - they come in an astonishing variety of shades and colours.

Out in Nursery Wood and through the Woodland Walk there are leaves to rustle through, while the Lime Avenue will turn a vibrant yellow.

Stroll down Cedar Avenue and take in the beauty of the majestic and stately cedar trees. Many of these trees were cultivated from seeds brought from the slopes of Mount Lebanon in the early 1800s; the Bankes family also invited royal guests to plant a cedar tree to mark a visit.

Some of the trees along the majestic Cedar Avenue date back to the 1800s
Enjoy a stroll at Kingston Lacy in Dorset
Some of the trees along the majestic Cedar Avenue date back to the 1800s

Nursery Wood

Follow Lime Avenue and you’ll find the arboretum known as Nursery Wood. This area bursts into life during the spring and summer months, with a spectacular display of azalea, camellia and rhododendron. Autumn is a great time to see peeling bark on the paperbark maples.

Look out too for the delicate white and pale pink blossom of the winter flowering cherry, which appears throughout the winter to lift spirits.

A winter flowering cherry lifts the spirits in January
The pale pink blossoms of a winter flowering cherry are silhouetted against a bright blue sky at Kingston Lacy
A winter flowering cherry lifts the spirits in January

Garden of the rising sun

Step foot in the far east as you explore this seven-acre Japanese garden which was created in the early 1900s. Follow Lady Walk and look out for bamboo plants, granite lanterns and an authentic Japanese tea house. Come in the spring for cherry tree blossom, autumn for flaming red Japanese maples, and winter for carpets of snowdrops.

Carpets of snowdrops in the Japanese Garden at Kingston Lacy
Snowdrops in the Japanese Garden at Kingston Lacy
Carpets of snowdrops in the Japanese Garden at Kingston Lacy

An ancient treasure

This ancient nine-metre-high obelisk casts a shadow over Kingston Lacy’s south lawn, a monument the adventures of William Bankes, the ‘explorer’. Amazingly, the six tonne obelisk took several years to be shipped from Egypt to England, and the Duke of Wellington chose its final location in the garden.

The Philae obelisk in the garden at Kingston Lacy
The Philae obelisk at Kingston Lacy in Dorset
The Philae obelisk in the garden at Kingston Lacy

Kitchen Garden

The Kitchen Garden has now reopened. With most garden staff furloughed in 2020 and no volunteers, the restoration of this two-acre site was put on hold. 

We're now working to get this part of the garden back to its best; the pigs have been helping, working as rotivators on beds that have not been tilled for 12 months. Our garden team is revitalising beds with the No Dig system. New supports have gone up in the Vinery, so this year we will be able to train the grape vines properly. 

It's a slow process and there's still a lot of work to do to restore the Kitchen Garden to its former glory; find out about our plans at the link below.

The vision for the restoration of the Kitchen Garden at Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy Kitchen Garden appeal  

We've begun the Kitchen Garden project to conserve and restore this important part of the garden that once had a royal reputation. We have ambitious plans but we need your help to do it.