Let Upton’s garden put a spring in your step

At last spring is on its way. A walk through the gardens will put a spring in your step

Swathes of narcissus are swaying in the orchard.  

Apple trees are bursting into blossom. Pale cream and mauve crocus are coming into flower. 

We have a large collection of different narcissus cultivars. They range in colour from deep yellows to light creams. In the orchard narcissi ‘King Alfred’ have golden yellow petals and a matching cup. Others may have reflexed petals, with different colour cups of yellow or white. 

Follow the path from the orchard down to the wild garden, our mini-arboretum.  

Explore the wild garden’s trees on your way to the mirror pool

In the wild garden prunus trees are coming into blossom along with prunus serrula with their remarkable bark. Davidia involucrata the ghost tree in spite of its name, is bursting into life. A tree to look out for just by the pool is ginkgo biloba. This weird and way out tree is the sole survivor of a group that flourished in the far prehistoric past, 200 million years ago. In summer it bears fan shaped leaves which turn bright yellow in the autumn.  These and other unusual trees were planted in the 1930s to add interest to a natural windbreak. 

As you walk around the south side of the mirror pool admire the reflection of the cedrus libani and skeleton borders in the water. Approaching the end of the pool you will see a whole bank of naturalised narcissus, primula veris and anemone blanda cultivars with double and single petals. All protected by the hazel trees which are annually coppiced. 

Thousands of tulips line the terraces from mid-April through to May 

Next to the yew tree terrace the flowers of leucojum aestivum may be found delicately nodding whilst brightening up a dull corner. Under the ancient taxus baccata planted in 1700s, look out for the early crocus golden mammoth and the later blue flowers of anemone blanda cultivars. 

Look down into the bog garden as you walk back along the terrace it is a natural amphitheatre ringed by trees. Early primulas will be in flower and it is a haven for birds. See if you can spot a tree creeper, or hear a thrush sing. In the Terraces above, you’ll find it hard to miss the raucous calls of the ravens as they build their nest in the magnificent cedrus libani.

Returning to the south lawn, the annual spring plants will be starting to flower.  Look out for the tulips which have been planted along the terraces which will provide a wonderful display from mid-April to mid-May.

Spring bulbs erupt in borders and pots around the house
Tulips in pots on the terrace
Spring bulbs erupt in borders and pots around the house

Conservation work is at the heart of what we do

To enable us to conserve this delicate garden we need to be able to manage the greater numbers of people visiting in our twelve month opening period, which can be very challenging at times. Part of that management scheme which has been carefully thought through is to rotate the garden areas as they come into season; for example throughout the winter and into early spring we enable visitors to follow the spring bulbs.  Walking on hard pathways, with other areas being viewed from a distance to show of the structure of the plants. This will be followed by the first early herbaceous border coming into flower and other areas will open as the year goes on.

Looking through binoculars at view

Stride out for great views and a taste of history

Choose from one of these scenic walks and make the most of your day by exploring the surrounding countryside.