Seven unique garden projects

We look after many of the nation's most famous heritage gardens. Some are special because of their plant collections, others because of their design. Our head gardeners work hard to achieve horticultural excellence. They do this through leading restoration and improvement projects and by passing on their expertise to others. Here is a selection of our unique garden projects currently underway.

A view of the house over the historic rose garden

Nuffield Place, Oxfordshire 

Nuffield Place had been a low maintenance college garden for many years. Now a young National Trust gardener, Alex Prain, is restoring the original Arts and Crafts planting using documents from the 1950s. You can see the work in progress and gain an understanding of garden restoration.

A view of Mount Stewart house from the Italian Garden

Mount Stewart, Northern Ireland  

Mount Stewart was recently featured in the Royal Horticultural Society magazine, The Garden. The mild climate of Strangford Lough allows all sorts of experimentation. UNESCO have praised the 'extraordinary scope of its plant collections and the originality of its features, which give it world-class status'. The formal areas have a strong Mediterranean feel. While the Shamrock Gardens explore in topiary the story of the mythical Formorians - a race of half human half demons.

The White Garden in July at Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

Sissinghurst, Kent 

Sissinghurst Castle’s original Garden was created by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson and had a loose, romantic style. This had been compromised more recently by more formal horticultural standards that had smoothed off her rough edges. But now work is underway to gently return the garden to her more experimental planting.

Kitchen Garden in September at Hughenden Manor

Hughenden Manor, Buckinghamshire  

The garden of former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is being restored by an enthusiastic young head gardener, Piers Hory. The garden boasts an impressive arboretum and kitchen garden. As well as extensive formal planting incorporating a pergola stretching the length of the house, classical statuary and Italian urns.

Acers in full autumn colour in the garden at Standen, West Sussex.

Standen, West Sussex  

The garden at Standen was originally designed to look like a natural part of the High Weald landscape. We are now restoring it as part of a five year project. But we are putting a modern spin on things by mixing past and present ideas. Many of the acers in our collection here are original. They were planted by Margaret Beale following her world tour to Japan in 1906-7.

The East Lake Pavillion at Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Stowe, Buckinghamshire 

Ongoing restoration efforts will preserve and enhance this highly political piece of garden art. Here, your choice of path should be based on whether you are male or female, saint or sinner. Stowe is also where Lancelot 'Capability' Brown learnt his trade. He then went on to transform many aristocratic estates.

The golden flowers of the Laburnum Arch at Bodnant Garden

Bodnant Garden, North Wales  

We are committed to involving the local community in our work. With the help of volunteers at Bodnant Garden a wilderness has been transformed into a tranquil riverside haven. Bodnant gardeners also are restoring the Penjerrick Walk, a historic avenue of rhododendrons, back to its former glory. Also, don't miss the incredible Laburnum Arch. This attracts around 50,000 visitors for the three weeks it is in bloom in late spring/early summer.