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Discover the garden at Ormesby Hall

Family enjoying Ormesby Hall garden in autumn
Enjoy the garden in autumn with all the family | © National Trust

Explore the garden at Ormesby Hall, to discover a green oasis in the heart of industrial Middlesbrough. Enjoy the seasonal delights of this colourful Victorian formal garden and embrace the family fun on the woodland walk and natural play area.

Ormesby Hall garden in autumn

The garden at Ormesby is still full of colour throughout autumn. Amaranthus, Dahlias, Calendula and the annual seed mixes in the borders provide late season colour right up to the first frosts. The Copper Beech shows off its wonderful mix of leaf shades as it changes colour through the season in anticipation of dropping its leaves in November.

The deep red of the smoke bush (Cotinus) stands out among the changing autumn colours, the bench under the smoke bush is the perfect place to sit and enjoy the changing season. The wonderful Jay is elusive for much of the year, however in autumn when it is collecting and hiding its stash of acorns it becomes more conspicuous around the gardens.

Autumn is also a great time to explore the woods at Ormesby, with bright red berries on the hawthorn and holly trees, shining conkers are appearing from their spiky cases on the chestnut trees, and lots of interesting fungi can be found around the gardens and woodland.


At Ormesby Hall we are gardening for nature, with the wildflower meadow coming to life and wildflowers flowering throughout the flower borders. The meadow adds beautiful colour and creates a relaxing space, attracting insects like bees, hoverflies, butterflies and moths in need of pollen.

Colourful annuals in the garden in July at Ormesby Hall, North Yorkshire
Colourful annuals in the garden in July at Ormesby Hall, North Yorkshire | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Seasonal flowers in the garden


Rhododendrons grow in clusters and come into bloom in late spring, lasting into early summer and leading the way for the other summer flowers to follow. For a good flowering season, rhododendrons like a very wet season just before they come into flower and grow best when protected from the wind and have some shade.

At their best: mid-June


This Ornamental Onion flower boldly stands amongst other herbaceous perennials in the formal borders. Alliums are amongst the hundreds of species of monocotyledonous flowering plants that include garlic and onion, which could explain their onion-like shape.

At their best: early summer


Make sure you look out for the foxgloves as you venture down the woodland path. In this previously evergreen space the foxgloves will bring some height and colour to this area of the garden.

At their best: early July


The delphiniums return every year and thrive when the sun shines. The tall flower spikes have single or double flowers, in shades of blue and purple.

At their best: July and August


The striking blue and white flowers of the agapanthus can be found in the formal borders and in troughs on the cafe terrace. With their strong stems and large, radiant heads the Agapanthus, also known as African Lily, create a stunning display in the garden.

At their best: July and August


Summer sees the hydrangeas compete for centre stage and there are a range of colours to be seen, most commonly purples and pinks. The acidity of the soil can influence the colour of the flowers, which last into autumn with their flower heads providing structural interest throughout the winter.

At their best: July - September


Roses have always been an important presence within the garden, with different species of rose adorning the walls of the Georgian mansion and greeting visitors as they step through the garden gate.


Surrounding the rose garden and cafe terrace the scented lavender is a hive of activity for bees and other pollinators. This richly fragrant flower offers a delight for your senses as the air is filled with the sweet smell of lavender.

At their best: July and August

Bear's breeches

Acanthus mollis, commonly known as Bear's breeches, is a flowering perennial found in the herbaceous borders. Rising above the foliage the deeply cut, dark green leaves give an elegance to the plant, with the spiky, dusky purple flowers acting as a hood over the smaller white flowers, growing as tall as 3.5 feet.

At their best: midsummer

Cartwheel dahlia

The dahlias reside in the tropical themed formal borders in the centre of the garden. There are a variety of dahlias planted, with most offering a showy double form. One of the species is the cartwheel dahlia with its unusual fan-shaped flowers, beloved for their pollen by bees. Dahlias continue their show into autumn and until the first frost.


Amaranthus is an annual perennial, also known as love lies bleeding or a tassel flower. The fascinating cascade of colour also gives off the shape of a bushy foxtail and is mesmerising to look at. Each of these deep purple tassels is a colony of tightly packed, tiny flowers, which can remain in full bloom for weeks.

At their best: August


The gladioli add structure and elegance to any summer garden as they tower over some of the smaller summer flowers. They are often known as sword lilies due to their long, pointed leaves.

At their best: July and August

Exploring the garden

Within the Ormesby garden there are different areas to explore including the formal garden where tulips, agapanthus and dahlias flower seasonally, The croquet lawn with its wildflower borders and the spring garden which comes alive with daffodils.

Also in the spring garden is the recreated fernery and rockery which continues to take shape. This part of the garden was restored in 2019 using the diary entries of James Stovin Pennyman, who originally created the garden feature.

Two visitors walking dogs on the estate at Castle Drogo, Devon
Visitors walking in the woods at Ormesby Hall | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Exploring further afield

The Ormesby estate has 240 acres of woodlands, crop fields, running streams and open fields to explore, so stretch your legs, get the little ones out in nature, walk your four-legged friends and enjoy the parkland.

There are three waymarked walks across the estate, each 1.2–1.5 miles in length and taking in woodlands, St Cuthbert’s Church, local farms and a mini waterfall. Speak to the team on arrival for information on where to start the walks.

Many of the walks take you past our tenant farmer’s fields, where you may see sheep with the spring lambs and horses grazing. Please follow the countryside code whilst walking on the estate.

A view across the rear garden towards Ormesby Hall, North Yorkshire

Discover more at Ormesby Hall

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

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