Summer in the gardens at The Vyne
When you’re swept up in summer’s social whirlwind, ground yourself in the peace and beauty of The Vyne. Swaying wildflowers, traditionally cultivated hops and burgeoning dahlias are just some of the horticultural highlights to look out for this season. Get ready to discover the delights of the walled garden before venturing up the Lime Avenue to see the beds of the summerhouse garden exploding with colour.
Photos in this article show the garden in previous years and show (very) different planting to this year.
Gardening for nature can be a beautiful sight. This summer, our garden team planted a ‘mini-meadow’ in the historic walled garden. Over 50 varieties of wildflower, ranging from poppies and rose campion to larkspur and corn marigold, were specially chosen by the garden team for their vibrant colours, to help attract insects like bees and hoverflies, butterflies and moths in need of pollen. Visit in August to catch the last blooms.
Summer house garden
Planted at the beginning of June, deep purple Heliotrope contrasts with the silvery-green leaves of Cineraria cirrus. Hanging from the central obelisks, the wispy tendrils of Dichondra Silver Falls cascade gently into the flowerbed below. Each bed forms a Grecian cross to reflect the floorplan of the seventeenth century summerhouse.
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. 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.
Taking time out to connect
You can meet friends for a gossip in the garden or a conversation in the countryside. A splash of bright flowers and the smell of lush grass are the best backdrop for a chat. Places matter more when you share them with friends and family.