Summer in the gardens

Upton's terraces in summer bloom

It's the perfect time of year to see our gardens at their best. Explore the terraces, and don't miss the beautiful and shady bog garden.

Colourful borders

At the moment the main garden is full of flourishing dahlias, chrysanthemums, and in the lower terraces you will be treated to a beautiful selection of antirrhinums, roses and spectacular salvias.

Take a potter in Lady Bearsted's Garden to enjoy a delicate display of pinks and whites. Have a seat and relax in this sheltered little corner surrounded by blossoms. Look out for hibiscus, anenomes and cosmos.

In the herbaceous border you will find that we are putting it back to the original garden designer's plan, fading from one colour to another through the border. At the moment the progression of bright yellow, to red, white and then soft purple is clear to see.

There are handy plant guides for some of the borders as each comes into its prime, including a list of what's growing and where to find them. Some of these plants are available from the shop, why not take a little bit of Upton House home with you?

Purple and pink lupins in the terrace garden
Purple and pink lupins in the terrace garden
Purple and pink lupins in the terrace garden

A Made to Measure Garden

As you wander in the gardens you'll find the viewing point signs linking with our current house presentation: A Made to Measure Home. See how the Country Life sales particulars described the garden to potential new owners. Did Lady Bearsted take any of this advice when planning the new garden schemes with their garden designer Kitty Lloyd Jones?

Admire the vintage swimming pool

Just the ticket for the family of the 1930s!  This was a feature put in by Lord Bearsted in 1936, a few years after they bought Upton House. The Bearsteds wanted a home to enjoy as a family and to host weekend parties for friends. They already had a squash court (squash was very fashionable and popular at the time,) so a swimming pool was the last must-have for the perfect weekend home.

Although it would have been great to splash around in 80 years ago, the water in the swimming pool is sadly not suitable for swimming these days. Please keep yourself and your family safe and stay dry.

Summer sunshine on Upton's Mirror Pool
Summer sunshine on Upton's Mirror Pool
Summer sunshine on Upton's Mirror Pool

The Mirror Pool

The Mirror Pool has recently had some much needed conservation work to keep it going for many future generations to come. As you stroll alongside it you can enjoy the beautiful reflections of the terraced garden and the surrounding lush green countryside.

The conservation work involved completely replacing the clay liner and sediment in the bottom of the pool which had worn away over many years and sprung several leaks. There may still be work which needs to be done on it to keep it going, but hopefully it's now safe for the future.

Conservation is at the heart of what we do

To enable us to care for this delicate garden we need to be able to manage the greater numbers of people visiting it every year, 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. If when you visit any areas are roped off, it is to allow a damaged or vulnerable area to rest to keep the garden healthy for the future.

By visiting our gardens, by scanning your membership card or buying a ticket, you are helping us look after the gardens for future generations to enjoy. Thank you.