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Things to see and do in the garden at Antony

Visitors exploring the garden at Antony, standing next to a twisted black walnut tree
Visitors admire the black walnut tree | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Designed by landscape architect Humphry Repton, the garden at Antony, Cornwall, offers sweeping views looking out to the River Lynher, floral displays and glimpses into the lives of past residents of the house. There's also a formal garden full of surprises such as intriguing sculptures.

Antony is now closed for the winter

Antony is now closed for the remainder of this year. We look forward to welcoming you back from Spring 2024.

Autumn in the garden

Rich colours illuminate the garden at this time of year with the black walnut tree on the main lawn taking centre stage, resplendent in golden leaves. The flower displays aren’t over either, the Iceberg roses and catmint on the top terrace continue to flower well into the autumn months.

Autumn is a perfect time to stroll with loved ones through crisp leaves underfoot, and look out for conkers along the way.

Designing the landscape garden

The garden at Antony was first designed by Humphry Repton (1772-1818) a leading landscape designer who helped define the concept of the landscape garden. He is regarded as the greatest English landscape gardener to follow ‘Capability’ Brown.

Repton produced finely illustrated books featuring watercolours and aquatints on hinged flaps to show ‘before’ and ‘after’ views. These manuscript volumes became known as ‘Red Books’, and were produced to sell his landscape ideas to prospective clients.

Repton arrives at Antony

Repton was invited to Antony by Sir Reginald Pole Carew, MP for Fowey and Privy Councillor under Pitt, who recommended him. A 'Red Book' was prepared for Pole Carew in 1792.

Visitors walking in rain at Antony with the house in the background
Walking at Antony | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Exploring the garden at Antony

The knot garden

A knot garden is a style of formal garden laid out in a square that became popular in England during the reign of Elizabeth I. There are usually lots of intricate shapes and sometimes a combination of different-smelling plants and coloured greenery. The knot garden at Antony was made by Lady Carew Pole in 1984.

The yew hedge

The yew hedge at Antony is strikingly tall and outlines an impressive vista from the side of the house. The large hedges create drama and form new spaces. The long, grassy area between the hedges is a great place for a walk.

The yew cone

The story goes that a member of the Carew Pole family wanted somewhere to sit and watch the tennis in the shade, so the bench inside the cone used to look out onto a tennis court.

It's thought that insects in the hedge made the sitting experience unpleasant and it may not have been used as it was intended for this reason. However, today it's a fascinating addition to the garden enjoyed by families and garden enthusiasts alike.

The summer garden

The planting scheme in the summer garden was chosen by Lady Mary Carew Pole and incorporates muted tones of pink, purple, white and yellow. The garden is at its finest during early summer with displays of roses, peonies, alliums, poppies and more. In autumn you'll find dusky displays of rosehips.

Visitors including one in a wheelchair exploring the garden at Antony with a spherical pointed sculpture in the foreground
Explore the garden at Antony | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Sculptures at Antony

The garden is home to two sculptures of interest. ‘Hypercone’ by Simon Thomas (1997), stands in the Peony Garden. Its spiralling rings within rings are cast-iron waxed. This sculpture was inspired by the way water spirals down a plug hole.

‘Water cone’ by William Pye (1996), is a fascinating bronze water feature standing on the west lawn. Pye had used the design before but added a water element for this piece. It was inspired by observing the way heavy rainfall runs down tarmac roads in rippling waves.

The outside of Antony House seen from afar across a lawn on a sunny day

Discover Antony

Find out when Antony is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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