What to see in the garden at Red House

Borders of the Bowling Green at Red House, Bexleyheath, London

The warm red brick building of Red House is enclosed by its gardens. The house itself is clothed with climbing roses, Virginia Creeper and wisteria. Despite tough times, Head Gardener Rob and his team of dedicated volunteers have worked hard to bring the garden to its full summer glory again in 2021.

A place of joy


The Bowling Green at Red House has always been an area that encourages fun. As part of the original Morris garden, the family’s daughters Jenny and May would play here with pets and visiting friends. It’s the perfect area for garden games and is reminiscent of the rural country amusement shared here. 


Lined with a sea of mauve plants against the west elevation of the house, the Bowling Green is also bordered by a fragrant Rosemary hedge that exude its herby fragrance whenever someone brushes past. 


The Herbaceous borders divide the Bowling Green from the Rose Arch. Filled with a series of vibrantly coloured flowers, they are at their best June – September. Exploding with colour and texture, the Herbaceous borders are one of the crowning glories of the Red House garden in Summer. 


The Rose arch marks the divide between the original Morris garden and the Orchard, which was added later. Cloaked with climbing wild roses twisted across its frame, this colourful tunnel is the perfect place for a snapshot of your day out to Red House.

The Rose Arch in Summer at Red House, Bexleyheath, London.
The Rose Arch in Summer at Red House, Bexleyheath, London
The Rose Arch in Summer at Red House, Bexleyheath, London.

Well Courtyard


On the East side of the house sits the Well Courtyard. The focal point is the original well, designed by Philip Webb with a turreted and tiled roof, reflecting the neo-medieval influences of the house’s architecture. 


In the beds and borders that surround the well are Roses, Peones, Phlomis and Inula in a series of different colours and shapes. The most prominent of flowers is the wisteria, that has climbed its way across the walls of the house and explodes into life in May and June. 

Wisteria on the east elevation of Red House, Bexleyheath, London
Wisteria on the east elevation of Red House, Bexleyheath, London
Wisteria on the east elevation of Red House, Bexleyheath, London

The Orchard


In contrast to the presentation of the Orchard in recent years, we have embarked on a new experience to bring a new element of wilderness to the Orchard. The apple trees tower above the grass which has been allowed to grow tall, along with flowers and plants that have sprung up. Small patches have been mowed to allow visitors to walk through the new harmony and sit at picnic table, so that you can have lunch amongst the wilderness. 


The Orchard is also the home to our beehives, and their busily working colonies that can be seen flying around the garden gathering pollen. While the bees are beautiful and interesting, we kindly ask visitors to give the hives plenty of space and not to stand directly in front of them, as it interrupts the flight paths of the bees. 

The cut flower garden at Red House, Bexleyheath, London
The cut flower garden at Red House, Bexleyheath, London
The cut flower garden at Red House, Bexleyheath, London


More to come


Head Gardener Rob Smith and his trusty team of garden volunteers are working to bring even more elements into the garden. We’re replanting around the Air Raid Shelters, filling the beds with Herbaceous Perennials.


The old Kitchen Garden has been repurposed as a Cut Flower Garden. The area is now dedicated to growing seasonal flowers and plants that can be displayed in the bookshop and possibly in the house in the future. 

The Garden Snug Project at Red House