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The garden at Polesden Lacey

Family walking in the gardens at Polesden Lacey with trees in the background.
Visitors exploring the gardens this winter at Polesden Lacey, Surrey | © Megan Taylor

The garden at Polesden Lacey has something to offer in every season. Take in the views over Ranmore Common from the South Lawn, indulge in the peace and quiet in the Old Kitchen Garden and Upper Sunken Garden, or soak up the colour and scent around the Rose Garden and double herbaceous borders. There's always something beautiful to enjoy.

Autmn highlights in the garden

Polesden Lacey is a beautiful place to be as the seasons transition from summer into Autumn. See the changing landscapes as nature begins to prepare itself for the winter months, offering perfect opportunities for autumnal photos, long fresh air walks and collecting conkers.

As the temperature begins to fall so do the leaves. As you wander around don’t forget to listen to the crisp crunching sounds of the leaves and look up to see them twirling around as they fall to the ground.

One of the best views at Polesden Lacey is the show stopping autumn colours of the wider estate, seen from the outlook of South Lawn, offering rich burnt oranges, amber reds and golden yellows. Long Walk offers one of the best views, with a couple of benches at the viewpoint to really take in and enjoy the view of the changing seasons.

Two laughing people walk down the Long Walk at Polesden Lacey, Surrey, beneath a canopy of yellow and gold autumn leaves on the trees.
On the Long Walk at Polesden Lacey, Surrey | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Kitchen Garden and Home Farm Orchard

Seasonal vegetables are growing in the kitchen garden, including a row of bright orange pumpkins laying on a hay beds in time for Halloween. Home Farm Orchard can be found beyond the kitchen garden, full of heavy branched apple trees, ready to harvest up to late October.

Wildlife spotting

Look out for seed heads from summer blooms and trees as you walk through the grounds. They’re a perfect source of food for wildlife and you may spot birds pecking at the seeds and squirrels nibbling beneath the sweet chestnut trees.

Squirrel standing in a tree with autumn leaves surrounding it
Squirrel hiding out in a tree in the autumn months | © James Dobson

Lime Walk

Lime Walk slowly transitions from a vibrant green, shaded walkway into a close knit tunnel of yellow, brown and red leaves, with a warm autumnal glow.

Fungi spotting

As you walk around the gardens you may find fungi growing in certain areas. The autumn months provide the perfect conditions, namely a moist and mild climate, for fungi to flourish.

The Rose Garden

After the summer roses have stopped blooming, look out for vibrant red rose hips.

Fungi found growing from a log at Polesden Lacey
Fungi spotting at Polesden Lacey | © Chris Davies

A garden to enjoy in every season

Rose Garden
The Edwardian walled Rose Garden boasts well over 2,000 roses, including over 100 rambling roses on the pergola. The rest of the roses in the centre beds are made up of around 35 different varieties of hybrid tea, floribunda and hybrid musk types, all in bloom from June to late August and beyond.
Cut Flower Garden
The Cut Flower Garden provides blooms for arrangements in the house and other visitor areas throughout the year. It's always full of an eclectic and colourful mix of blooms like dahlias, zinnias, gladioli and phlox.
Herbaceous borders
Polesden Lacey's garden is home to one of the finest double herbaceous borders in England, and throughout summer and autumn it's full of bright colours and stunning scents. These borders feature perennials such as helenium, day lilies, rudbeckia and red-hot pokers.
Vegetable Garden
The veg garden provides produce to the kitchens all year round, from peas to potatoes. Our veg team also tends to the cold frames, herb bed and the recently introduced fruit cage in this part of the garden too.
Preserve Copse
The Preserve Copse is a a piece of ancient woodland set within our gardens and is also home to plantings of rhododendron, magnolia and Japanese maple. In the south-east corner you'll also find our bird hide and the resident peahen.
Formal garden rooms
To the west of the Rose Garden, you’ll find three seasonal garden rooms: The Iris Garden, Peony Borders and Lavender Garden, between them providing stunning displays from April through to the end of summer.
House borders
There are borders on all sides of the house, each planted with masses of bulbs for display every spring and then herbaceous perennials such as salvias to delight during summer. The walls of the house are also clothed in a variety of climbers and wall shrubs, from wisteria and the orange berries of Pyracantha on the east side to the abundant yellow Banksia rose on the west.
The Long Walk
The only formal element of the garden to the east of the house, and probably the most historic part of the garden, this 450m-long terrace has views across the estate. It's flanked by the atmospheric, shaded Nun’s Walk to the north and connects with the pinetum to the west.
Croquet Lawns
Polesden Lacey has always been a place for recreation and play. Tennis and golf during the Edwardian heyday have now been replaced with four croquet pitches. You can hire them from time to time – check at the visitor reception.
The Ladies Garden
The resting place for Margaret Greville, this area was her favourite place to sit during her time here. Fittingly, we've planted a curtain of Rosa ‘Margaret Greville’ in front of her grave, alongside a collection of complementary plants such as penstemon, nepeta and geranium as well as some purple asters. Together with pink rose petals, these flowers were used to line her grave when she was buried. In 2022 a horde of staff and volunteers planted 70,000 autumn and spring flowering crocuses, which are a sight to behold.
Dog Graves
Although she had no children, Margaret Greville certainly had plenty of dogs whilst at Polesden Lacey and they are all buried here, surrounded by a calming white planting scheme. A wheelchair- and buggy-accessible path runs past this contemplative spot, linking Lime Walk with the West Lawn.
The Saloon at Polesden Lacey, Surrey

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