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Visiting the garden at Dudmaston

A cedar tree in silhouette at Dudmaston, Shropshire, overlooking the garden to the Big Pool, woodland and an open ridge with views to the Clee hills
Overlooking the Big Pool at Dudmaston. | © Michael Caldwell

Discover a tranquil garden overlooking the water. Dramatic terraces lead the eye towards the Clee Hills and beyond. Dudmaston's art collection extends into the garden, so look out for sculptures designed by notable artists. The garden is open from March to October.

Garden closed for the winter

The garden at Dudmaston Hall reopens on Sunday 17 March 2024.

Things to see in the garden

The historic garden at Dudmaston is a work of art in itself and includes many interesting features such as the herbaceous border, the rose border, bog garden, rockery and American garden. Look out for the Laboucheres' collection of Modern Art sculptures which can be seen throughout the garden, including The Watcher and Space Frame, both by local artist Anthony Twentyman.

The herbaceous border

The contemporary plant scheme includes a mixture of perennials, including echinacea, aster, sedum, helenium, thalicrum and grasses such as miscanthus and stipa.

Lady Labouchere's rose border

There is a mixture of old roses such as gallicas and damasks as well as shrub roses (rugosas and modern) with a white, pink and red colour scheme. This border is named after Lady Labouchere who created it but, sadly, she never saw the rewards as she passed away only a few months later.

Bog garden

Situated at the edge of Big Pool next to the reed beds, this part of the garden is planted with stilbe, iris, primulas, euphorbias, bamboos, ferns, eupatorium, acanthus, gunneras and day lilies.

The Gunnera manicata, which originate from South America and Africa, is a dramatic plant with its huge leaves that resemble rhubarb leaves.

Discover the rockery

Following its collapse and repair in 2015, the rockery is undergoing a long-term project to improve its diversity, beauty, and thematic relevance. This work has included installing a contour of lavenders and grasses at the top, a contemporary style which encourages bees and butterflies, and continues Dudmaston’s tradition of pushing the boundaries of artistic expression.

The rockery is planted with drought-tolerant species: the well-draining soil at the top is planted with Mediterranean species like cistaceae, whilst the stonier ground below is now home to many Alpine and Norwegian plants, a reference to the specimens brought to Dudmaston by Geoffrey Wolryche-Whitmore.

Finally, the rockery’s lowest extent is filled with sun-loving iris, Rachel Labouchere’s favourite flower, which create a burst of blue and green in early summer.

Views from the rockery

Work was undertaken last year to clear the south-facing wall to allow more species to flourish. The prospect across Big Pool continues to be opened, and the best view can be found from the top of the rockery, where you can enjoy the summer colours and imagine the beauty that will develop over the coming years.

The border is planted with Mediterranean plants such as the rock rose (cistus), phlomis, erigeron lavenders, rosemary, potentilla and euphorbia.

American garden

This part of the garden was originally planted with hybrid rhododendrons which come from America.

Many of these original rhododendron were killed by the severe winter of 1981–1982 and this area was extensively replanted with plants such as rhododendron magnolias (which produce a wonderful creamy yellow flower in May and June), eucryphias and azaleas. There are also flowering cherry trees and Japanese acers near the American garden.

A large rhododendron in flower among other plants at Dudmaston, Shropshire
A rhododendron in flower at Dudmaston | © National Trust Images / Clive Nichols
A glimpse of the house at Dudmaston between tall trees in spring

Discover more at Dudmaston

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

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