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The garden at Osterley Park

A carpet of bright yellow daffodils in the foreground, with a large pink magnolia tree against a blue sky
Spring at Osterley Park, Middlesex | © National Trust images/Hugh Mothersole

Osterley Park's formal garden was transformed during a six-year project from an overgrown wilderness back to its 18th-century grandeur with herbaceous borders, roses and ornamental vegetable beds. With bulbs springing to life in the garden throughout the year and garden buildings to explore, there's plenty to enjoy whatever the weather.

The Garden House, built in 1780 by Robert Adam, in the Pleasure Grounds at Osterley Park and House, London
The Garden House, built in 1780 by Robert Adam, in the Pleasure Grounds at Osterley Park | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Spring in the garden

As nature wakes from its winter slumber, brighten your day with a walk through the colourful bulbs in the Tudor Walled Garden, spot the yellow daffodils peeking up across the grounds or wander below the cascading blossom trees in the American Boarder in their dreamy hues of pink and white. Why not make a day of it by enjoying a picnic under the blooming Magnolia trees?

From May, you'll be able to once more enjoy the variety of roses bursting with colour, fragrance and romance in Mrs Child's Garden.

The Garden House

This semi-circular building, built in 1780 and designed by Robert Adam, is a fascinating feature of the garden set among the borders of Mrs Child’s Flower Garden. Used to entertain guests, Mrs Child filled the Garden House with exotic scented plants, including grapes, pineapples and, according to the 1782 inventory, ‘Forty-five Orange and Lemon trees in tubs’.

In celebration of this, our garden team continue the tradition each year by displaying various plants in the Garden house for visitors to see. Currently, we have our seasonal winter display on show which hosts a variation of winter stems and shrubs including 'Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire', Rubus cockburnianus, and various Camellia's.

Mrs Child’s Flower Garden

Sarah Child lived at Osterley between 1763 and 1793 and was a passionate gardener, filling the space in front of the Garden House with fashionable and exotic plants, which have been faithfully recreated for visitors to enjoy.

The garden features a series of beds, radiating out from the Garden House with paths twisting and turning through them. The flower beds would have been planted with a tall plant, shrub or tree in the centre, with colourful flowers of lesser height around it.

The path and gateway leading to the walled garden at Osterley Park and House
The path and gateway leading to the walled garden at Osterley Park | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Tudor walled garden

One of the most loved features at Osterley is the Tudor walled garden. This part of the garden is split into sections, with space for the garden team to grow a wide range of plants which are sold in the second-hand bookshop, and a cutting garden which supplies beautiful flowers throughout the year for the display in the house. The long border at the top of the garden is traditionally planted with shrubs and perennials for year-round interest.

The ornamental vegetable garden

Over the years the gardening team have turned a derelict patch of ground within the walled garden into an organic ornamental vegetable garden, and it's here that they experiment with interesting and unusual planting.

The vegetable garden is divided into four plots; one is given over to more traditional cropping, the second is mainly a pumpkin patch for the annual Pumpkin Festival at Halloween, and the last two plots are creative zones planted with a mix of brassicas, dahlias, antirrhinums, zinnias and amaranths.

Organic gardening

A commitment to organic gardening at Osterley Park and House has seen a growth in wildlife, from hedgehogs to birds. The garden team stopped using fungicides and insecticides a number of years ago and limits its use of weedkillers to a small number of paths around the estate.

The difference has been most obvious in the Great Meadow, where layers of biodiversity can now be seen, from the insects and small mammals to the larger birds of prey such as owls, kestrels and red kites which feed on them.

View across the lake towards the east front with the 'transparent' portico at Osterley, Middlesex

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