Summer colour at Lyveden, Northamptonshire.

Lyveden's wildflower meadow

The gardens at Lyveden are not your traditional gardens. We do not have colourful borders or striking flowerbeds but we do have one of the oldest gardens in the country. Our Elizabethan garden is made up of mounts, moats and orchard trees. But at this time of the year, our perennial wildflower meadows take centre stage.

Wildflower meadows

This is the season when the wildflower meadows come into their own, providing a colourful backdrop for Tresham's unfinished garden lodge.

The meadows, littered with ox-eye daisies and cowslips, are home to an abundance of butterflies and bugs. A vision of white, purple and yellow, our wildflower meadows are the perfect place to let your mind wander.

A carpet of wildflowers swaying in the breeze
One of Lyveden's wildflower meadows
A carpet of wildflowers swaying in the breeze

The mown pathways in the north meadow follow the outline of Tresham's original parterre. The remains of the parterre can be seen in an aerial photograph on display in the Visitor Centre taken by the American Air Force in the 1940s. The photograph shows that Tresham intended his parterre to be planted in an elaborate quincunx - the form of five dots on a dice.

Tresham's Elizabethan pleasure garden

Our wildflower meadows may be the highlight but summer is the perfect time of year to explore the rest of the garden landscape at Lyveden. From the orchard to the spiral mounts, you’ll find plenty of places to explore.

As we progress into summer the orchard flowers will be joined by fruit, well on its way to being ready to pick.

Why not walk the labyrinth? The path to the centre is just over a mile long and will be mown into the long grass by our outdoor team. The labyrinth at Lyveden was designed to be walked as an act of contemplation, representing the journey of the good Christian through life.

Summer is the perfect time to explore the garden landscape
The moated garden
Summer is the perfect time to explore the garden landscape

The spiral mounts at Lyveden provide great views not just of Tresham’s pleasure garden and unfinished lodge, but of the wider Northamptonshire countryside.

Be on the lookout for the wild orchids that grow throughout the garden landscape. Where will they appear this year—on the banksides around the lodge, along the paths of the labyrinth or in the long grass?


Cottage Tea Room Garden

The Cottage Tea Room garden will be in full bloom, providing a colourful walk way between the Visitor Centre and the Cottage Tea Room. Check out our ‘Plants of interest this week…' blackboard for a guide to what's growing in our garden.

Cared for by our volunteer gardeners
Cottage gardens
Cared for by our volunteer gardeners

If you’d like to know more, leave us a comment card and our volunteer gardener will get back to you.