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Things to do in the garden at The Vyne

A view of the lake at The Vyne in spring.
Recharge the batteries with a lakeside stroll at The Vyne. | © National Trust / Virginia Langer

There are nine hectares of garden surrounding the house at The Vyne. Two lakes, a walled garden, formal garden and meadow along with lawns and a herbaceous border sit neatly inside this area. There is plenty for you to explore through the seasons, from the 17th-century summerhouse to a 600-year-old oak tree.

From early flowering cyclamen, crocuses and golden daffodils to later-blooming blossoms, bold Crown Imperials and bright pink peonies, repeat visits will reveal an evolving landscape of blooms. Come late spring, you can indulge the eye with a palette of blues and purples with Alliums, wisteria and Camassias.

Look out for these spring highlights

• From February: Daffodils in the walled garden.
• From March to April: Plum, pear and apple blossoms in the orchard.
• In May: Pink cherry blossom in the wild garden.

A view of flowerbeds and the glasshouse in The Vyne's walled garden.
A wander through The Vyne's walled garden reveals the delights of the season. | © National Trust / Karen Legg

The walled garden

Dating back to the 18th century, the walled garden houses a variety of fruit and vegetables as well as a dahlia border. An ambitious restoration programme restored the glasshouse and the fruit and vegetable beds to their former glory.

The summerhouse

Possibly the earliest domed garden building in England, the summerhouse dates from around 1635 and has been used as a banqueting house and a dovecote. Designed by John Webb and built in the shape of a Greek cross, it is one of two originally built.

Today, the remaining summerhouse is the focus of the formal garden with beds which reflect the shape of the structure itself. The bedding plants are chosen to complement the shades of the summerhouse during the seasons and the garden is enclosed by a yew hedge.

The 17th-century domed red-brick summerhouse at The Vyne.
The 17th-century summerhouse at The Vyne | © National Trust / Karen Legg

Hundred Guinea Oak

Frail but still standing, the Hundred Guinea Oak is now over 600 years old. William John Chute, who owned The Vyne in the late Georgian period, was offered £100 and later 100 guineas for the timber.

He flatly refused to sell the oak, which you can see for yourself at the top of the Lime Avenue.

Wild garden

Here, the informal layout gives the impression of a natural landscape that has emerged all by itself. Laden with seasonal colour, trees gently arc over the main path at intervals while the paths mown through the long grass bring you to the lakeside where you can spot waterfowl gliding across the lake.

Family activities in the garden

There are plenty of self-led trails around the estate for families to enjoy. Unfortunately ball games, frisbees, bikes, scooters and drones are not allowed on the estate. This is to prevent further damage to the house and grounds.

Summer open-air events at The Vyne

Coming up in 2024, browse open-air theatre and cinema screenings coming to The Vyne's gardens.

The Importance of Being Earnest
29 June | Outdoor theatre | The Importance of Being Earnest | The Vyne | © The Pantaloons

29 June | Outdoor theatre | The Importance of Being Earnest

On Saturday 29 June, Wilde’s comic masterpiece gets The Pantaloons treatment in their anarchic take on the classic comedy of manners.

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Close up detail of the 16th-century stained glass window in the Chapel at the Vyne, Hampshire

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