Let Upton’s garden put a spring in your step
Get ready for spring with a walk around the beautiful grounds at Upton House and Gardens.
The gardens are open from 10.30am-5.00pm Monday-Friday and 10.00am-5.00pm weekends.
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.
The winter and spring walk follows hard pathways, with other areas being viewed from a distance to show off 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.
Enjoy the peace and quiet of our beautiful orchard
The orchard is such a peaceful place that we have decided to make it a designated Silent Space. All that means is that you can now come and spend a few minutes enjoying the sounds of nature without any distractions. Turn off your phones and immerse yourself in the spectacular surroundings. What can you see? What can you hear? What can you smell? Throughout April and May, the trees will start bursting into blossom. This is a stunning sight, not to be missed.
Then, when you're done, follow the path from the orchard down to the Wild Garden, our mini-arboretum.
The erysinium will start to bloom first this season, bringing with them a beautiful, sweet smell of spring. Lady Bearsted’s garden and the slater border are all in bloom at this time of year too. From mid-April take a stroll down here to enjoy the pink and white tulips that were Lady B’s favourites.
Spring is also the perfect time to see the dramatic wisteria on the rear walls of the house and up the steps up the terraces from the mirror pool. Don’t forget the shrubs on the dry banks either; they may not be as striking, but they’re still beautiful at this time of year.
Explore the Wild Garden’s trees on your way to the Mirror Pool
In the Wild Garden, the cherry trees will be in full blossom by now. The spectacular Prunus Serrula (Tibetan cherry tree) has a remarkable striped bark that looks best at this time of year. 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.
Stunning colours burst through in the Lupin border
As you walk around the south side of the Mirror Pool, admire the reflection of the stunning colours in the lupin border. The lupins, delphiniums, iris and paeonies in this lively border will spring into life by the end of May and continue to thrive into early summer.
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. You’ll find it hard to miss the raucous calls of the ravens as they build their nest in the magnificent Cedrus Libani on the walk back up to the lawns.
Returning to the terraces above the south lawn, the annual spring plants will be starting to flower. Look out for the tulips which will provide a wonderful display from mid-April to mid-May.