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Explore the garden at Fenton House

Visitors in the garden at Fenton House, London
Visitors in the garden at Fenton House | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Full of colour and interest all year round, the garden at Fenton House is a haven in the middle of Hampstead. The walled garden is laid out over three levels featuring formal walks, lawns, herbaceous borders, exotic planting, a sunken rose garden, kitchen garden and a 300-year-old orchard.

The garden layout

The garden at Fenton House is the culmination of decades of experimentation with different horticultural styles and tastes. Take in the vista of the formal lawn and terrace, with neatly trimmed topiary, before exploring the sunken rose garden and cross borders.

Pass through the yew hedges and you'll arrive in the hidden kitchen garden and historic orchard, which contains 32 different heritage varieties of apples and pears. Find a secluded bench among the flowers and drink in the vivid colours and scents of the ever-changing and abundant borders.

Exploring the garden

The terraces

The terraces are home to some of the gardeners' favourite plants. In spring, a blaze of colour from tiny blue chionodoxa flowers lining the path along the terrace, followed by daffodils and ending with a haze of mauve and white alliums in June.

From late June to July, rambling and climbing roses tumble through the borders and the rich planting on the east terrace is repeated, drawing the eye down the border. The North Terrace is full of exotic lush plants such as banana plants, cannas, echiums and artichokes.

The formal garden

Once through the yew arbour, you get a view of the formal lawn lined with neatly clipped topiary and a knife-sharp trimmed yew hedge.

Set against the dark green of the yew and running alongside the east terrace is a classic herbaceous border, showcasing hot vibrant colours of dahlias and cannas contrasting with rich blues, oranges and pinks of lilies and sedums.

The rose garden

From the terraces look down into an enchanting sunken rose garden filled with the aroma of roses that are in full flower by mid-June. The flowers here are vibrant sorbet tones with roses growing up supports to provide height and seclusion.

Rather than traditional rose gardens with bare earth, the rose beds are generously underplanted with displays of geraniums, foxgloves and salvias to create a soft, romantic cottage-garden effect.

Kitchen garden and orchard

Down the steps to the garden's lowest level where the 300-year-old orchard and kitchen garden are found, in contrast to the formal gardens.

In the autumn, the orchard at Fenton will be abundant with apples from our 28 apple trees. Visitors are welcome to taste a selection of apples during their visit. The autumn borders are adorned with late flowering blooms that fade to architectural seed heads.

Further beyond and the last garden room is the kitchen garden adorned with flowers. In summer there are fruit and vegetables, as well as pumpkins and corn towards autumn.

The kitchen garden also houses a cut-flower border, where the head gardener and volunteer team sometimes grow immature plants until they are larger and ready to move to other parts of the garden. This border is often an accidental source of inspiration for previously unthought of planting and colour combinations.

Two people walking along a garden terrace, shot from behind the legs of a statue, at Fenton House and Garden, London
Statue in the garden at Fenton House, London | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra
Visitors in the garden at Fenton House, London
Visitors in the garden at Fenton House | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra
Two visitors look at tall plants covered with tiny white flowers in the garden at Fenton House and Garden, London, with a hedge to one side and the house in the background

Book your visit

Please note you need to book tickets to Fenton House and Garden. You can book for today up until 8am. Every Thursday time slots will be available for the next 14 days.

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