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Things to see in the garden at Lytes Cary Manor

Two children run around in the garden at Lytes Cary Manor
Children playing in Apostle Garden | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Explore the garden at Lytes Cary Manor and discover creative sculptural trees and hedges. Discover the different areas including the croquet lawn and walk through the tranquil orchard to catch the light on the sundial.

Exploring the garden

The garden is divided into different areas, such as the Vase Garden, Raised Walk and Sunken Garden with shaped hedges, called topiary, throughout. The hedges and yew trees provide colour and unusual cut shapes throughout the garden. Conservation work is happening in the garden. One of the main pathways has become rather uneven and an eight-week project is underway to repair it. Unfortunately, it does mean that access to the garden for disabled people will be limited in September and October 2023.

The Apostle Garden

The pathway towards the main entrance of the house is lined with 12 yew trees known as the Apostles. This is possibly a religious connection from the previous owners, Sir Walter and Lady Flora Jenner, who planted the trees 110 years ago.

The yews have grown bigger than they would have been in the time of the Jenners and are becoming difficult to cut. Renovating them to a smaller size will bring them back to their intended height and into scale with the surrounding garden – pictures of the garden from 1947 show the shrubs at least one metre away from the path.

It won’t take too long to carry out the work, which will happen in April 2023, but beforehand the National Trust Plant Conservation Centre will be taking cuttings. As these yews are original to when the garden was planted in 1910, it is important to make sure we keep a genetic record of them.

They will look bare for about a year after the work is carried out. The garden team will be watering, feeding and mulching them to help with a speedy recovery though and then they then shouldn’t need renovating again for another 50 years.

Topiary shapes

Other artistic designs have been cut into the hedges found throughout the garden. Look out for the topiary peacock, globular domes, angular pillars and softer cloud-shaped hedges. There are more shapes to find and a great challenge for children to look out for.

Box hedge

The creative art of topiary shaping works well using a hedging plant called box. It provides stable bases and small green leaves that form a living sculptural shape. At Lytes Cary, yew trees are also used for the larger designs like those found in the Apostle Garden.

The Jenners’ pond

A four-year renovation project has recreated an exact replica of the Jenners’ Pond Garden. If you follow your nose, it links to the Lavender Garden, which is also planted with roses and verbena for year-round interest and aromas.

Silent Space

Silent Space is a charity that encourages gardens open to the public to reserve an area where visitors can take time to reflect quietly and to enjoy the beauty of the garden and the sounds of nature without distractions.

Lytes Cary Manor has joined Silent Space by dedicating the vase garden to the scheme.

Switch off and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of that moment, enjoying the sounds of the garden.
For more information on Silent Space, visit the website

A sundial at Lytes Cary Manor in light afternoon sunlight
The sundial at Lytes Cary Manor | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The Orchard

Explore further into the orchard which provides space for wildlife and pollinating insects to thrive. Cherry and apple blossom give colour, scent and food for insects in the spring. Return for bountiful fruit during the summer and autumn including quinces, medlars and crab apples.

At certain times of year the grasses are left to grow to encourage wildflower areas with cut pathways weaving amongst the trees. This is a great space for children to run along the mown pathways or sit and watch the wildlife from one of the benches.

The outside of Lytes Cary in summer with hedges to the left

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