Summer in the gardens at The Vyne
Fiery Ipomoea lobata, traditionally cultivated hops and burgeoning dahlias are just some of the horticultural highlights to look out for this season. These garden delights are set in a landscape punctuated by a soaring lime avenue, 17th-century summerhouse and the newly revealed façade of The Vyne house.
Photos in this article show the garden in previous years and may show different planting to this year.
Summer house garden
Planted at the beginning of June, the summer bedding heralds a season of fiery Ipomoea lobata surrounded by a chorus of Lime delight, Trusty rusty and Redhead Solenostemons. Each bed forms a Grecian cross to reflect the floorplan of the seventeenth century summerhouse.
The borders burst with Sedums, Rudbeckias, Dahlias, grasses and Cannas.
Well-tended by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, you can see flowers, fruit and vegetables growing in row upon row of neat rectangular beds. Look out for the newly planted bee pen which is brimming with bee-loving plants such as lavender, mint and oregano.
Growing up to six inches a day in the right conditions, a variety of hops are getting ready to engulf a parade of arches leading down the main path in the walled garden. Historically relevant to The Vyne, hops used to be grown in what is now the parkland. The hops would have been processed in the Brewhouse which is now our tea-room.
The hops are all English varieties and cover a range of breeding dates and chemical properties for brewing. The oldest variety is Fuggle. The name dates from 1856. The newest variety is Golden Tassles which was introduced as an ornamental garden plant in 2003. Other varieties growing in the walled garden include Redsells Eastwell and Pheonix.
The hop’s lush foliage in summer will eventually give way to cones in autumn and winter.
From August, the garden’s magnificent dahlia border bursts into bloom. Against a backdrop of cordon, espallier and palmette fruit trees you’ll discover a rich mix of colours, from soft pastel shades to vibrant oranges, hot pinks and magenta blooms.
Dahlias were an important part of horticultural life at The Vyne in the 19th century, when head gardener Mr Broomfield regularly won prizes for his blooms at local shows.
Elsewhere in the grounds
The orchard is the perfect place for an easy stroll. The Vyne’s sprawling north lawn, flanked by the grand Tudor mansion on one side and the lake on the other, is an ideal picnic spot. If you’re heading further afield, don’t miss the Wild garden on your way out to the wetlands.
Wander past the leafy branches and bountiful boughs of The Vyne’s orchard trees, featuring mulberries and traditional apples that will eventually be picked and made available to take home with you for a suggested donation outside the walled garden.
No visit to the gardens at The Vyne would be complete without a promenade up the Lime Avenue. A shaded picnic area is located just off this avenue.
Marking the transition between gardens and countryside, the wild garden is located between the sprawling north lawn and the open landscape of the wetlands. A haven for wildlife with tall grasses, lose yourself here on a sunny afternoon.