Ham's 'plats' garden reimagined for today

The walled garden at Ham House alive with spring scent and colour, as swathes of 500,000 bulbs bloom.

Head Gardener Rosie Fyles has revealed a new display within Ham’s formal gardens. Discover a changing pageant of colour and scent as a succession of 500,000 bulbs and wildflowers, a delight for nature and people throughout the warmer months.

Vast new plantings for spring and summer

Inspired by the garden’s history, Rosie has transformed the mansion’s vast manicured lawns – each the size of centre court at Wimbledon – and filled them with crocus, tulips, and muscari to bloom all through the spring. 

In summer the garden will transform again with a wildflower meadow taking shape that uses native species to encourage new diversity, vibrancy and form.

Inspired by Ham's history

Rosie Fyles said: ‘From the grand entrance to the extravagant interiors, everything about Ham House was designed to impress. The gardens were no exception. To the 17th century eye, kept lawns were a truly awe-inspiring sight, possible only through the dedication of an entire team of gardeners. We set out to create a garden area that inspires that same ‘wow’ from today’s garden lovers.'

Ham House has had a focus on natural gardening for many years and Rosie’s team also manages nearby Petersham Meadows. All the new plants have been chosen with wildlife in mind as well as for their display.

‘We hope the new garden will give people a tranquil place enjoy nature and spend time together. The ideas we’ve used could easily work in any garden so we hope that visitors can get inspired by what they see too.’

Ham House's Head Gardener Rosie Fyles
Ham House's Head Gardener Rosie Fyles
Ham House's Head Gardener Rosie Fyles

Latest updates

30 Apr 19

The first signs that our new wildflower meadows are doing well

Delicate saucer-shaped flax flowers, also known as linseed (Linum perenne), are starting to bloom on elegant stems. They're among the first of a range of wildflowers establishing here on the plats to create colourful summer drifts and a home for nature in this area that was formal lawn.

The first flax flowers have come out in Ham House's new wildflower meadow

30 Apr 19

Final flush of bulbs as we move towards summer's new wildflowers

The vivid colours of species tulips and muscari are stealing the show in this tranquil haven, just 30 minutes from central London. As we move into June, they will make way for four new wildflower meadows to come to life.

The vivid colours of species tulips and muscari in Ham House's garden, Richmond

18 Apr 19

Delicate species tulip bring natural beauty

By April the plats are covered with this delicate white tulip, 'Tulip turkestanica', chosen to attract bees and other insects, as well as for its vibrant natural display.

Tulips and muscari at Ham House, Richmond