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Things to see and do in the garden at Red House

An image of the cut flower garden at Red House in London with raised bed filled with different types of cut flowers and pathways  around each bed
The cut flower garden at Red House in London | © National Trust Images/Chris Davies

The warm-red brick building of Red House is enclosed by its gardens, stocked with flowers and plants chosen to evoke the time when William Morris lived here, and to work in harmony with the appearance of the house.

Part of the garden with a view of Red House, London
The garden with Red House in the background | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The bowling green

The bowling green at Red House, part of the original Morris garden, has always been an area that encourages fun. The family’s daughters Jenny and May would play here with pets and visiting friends. It’s the perfect area for garden games and is reminiscent of the rural country amusement shared here.

Fragrant hedges and borders

Lined with a sea of plants against the west elevation of the house, the bowling green is also bordered by a fragrant rosemary hedge that exudes its herby fragrance whenever someone brushes past.

Herbaceous borders divide the bowling green from the rose arch, which marks the divide between the original Morris garden and the orchard, which was added later.

Well courtyard

On the east side of the house sits the well courtyard. The focal point is the original well, designed by Philip Webb with a turreted and tiled roof to reflect the neo-medieval influences of the house’s architecture.

In the beds and borders that surround the well are seasonal roses, peonies, Phlomis and Inula in a series of different colours and shapes.

The orchard

The orchard was added to the Red House garden in the early 20th century. Its fruit trees are the last remaining reminder of the ancient apple orchard that once surrounded Red House when the Morris family arrived in 1859. While none of our current trees were alive when the Morrises lived here, in this wilder side of the garden visitors can envision the halcyon days of times gone by.

The garden with table in June at Red House, London
The garden at Red House | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The orchard is also home to the beehives, and their busily working colonies can be seen flying around the garden gathering pollen. While the bees are beautiful and interesting, please give the hives plenty of space and don’t stand directly in front of them, as it interrupts the bees’ flight paths.

Future plans

Head Gardener Rachel MacLachlan and the team of garden volunteers are working to bring even more elements into the garden. We’re replanting around the air raid shelters, filling the beds with herbaceous perennials.

The old kitchen garden has been repurposed as a cut-flower garden, to grow seasonal flowers and plants to display in the bookshop, and hopefully in the house in the future.

The imposing red facade of the house at Red House in London with its well and high peaked roof surrounded by a luscious green garden full of plants and flowers

Discover more at Red House

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

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