A summer garden
Montacute House is amongst the very few Elizabethan houses in England to have retained its setting within a compartmented garden, and in the summer months the different compartments each offer something special.
The herbaceous borders of the East Court are perhaps the jewel in the crown with striking colour and architectural planting set around a manicured lawn. Rudbeckia, sunflowers and crocosmia are just a few of the beauties that will be in flower.
The humming bees provide the music to accompany this visual spectacle as they go about their daily business of collecting pollen and you will see the gardeners just as busy at their work keeping everything in order. There is a lot of maintenance to do at this time of year, deadheading, watering and mowing, to make sure everything is looking its best for as long as possible.
In the summer time perhaps the most appealing feature of the formal sunken North Garden is the magnificent fountain in its centre. It is a great place to cool down after a session of rolling down the banks and playing hide and seek in the inner yew hedges.
The Cedar Lawn is one of the best places to appreciate the famous wibbly wobbly hedges. It is thought these English yew hedges are about 150 years old and until 1947 there were uniformly straight, without the lumps and bumps you see today. It was during the harsh winter of that year when snow lay thick for weeks that the flat tops of the hedges collapsed under all the weight.
Towards the end of the summer the gardening team begin the massive task of clipping the yews. It takes quite a while as there is over a mile of hedge to trim.
The magnificent cedar trees at the south end of the lawn cast much needed shade on a warm summer’s day, so make a perfect spot for a picnic. The view back up back up to the house is especially picturesque when the local croquet club are playing.
The Garden Orchard on the South Drive is one of the less formal areas of the garden, which makes it an ideal for running around, climbing trees and eating picnics.
Through the summer it will also be the home of the Tudor archers and their hand painted pavilion with royal standard and Tudor Rose flags. As well as being able to view and handle replica armour and weapons, you can have a go at letting arrows fly yourself.