Glorious summer gardens to visit in Buckinghamshire
PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 July 2015
Now’s the time to enjoy the work of others who love their little corner of Buckinghamshire, whether that’s formal splendour or country garden style
Many beautiful gardens open in the next few weeks, some for the National Gardens Scheme, which raises funds for charities. It’s a chance to see some beautiful displays, including in gardens that open to the public just once or twice a year.
You’ll find ones attached to small private homes where the owners meticulously care for cherished borders. Others, such as those at National Trust properties, will be providing their best views of the year as earlier planting reveals its results.
At many there’s the chance to enjoy refreshments (perhaps a cream tea!) and if you plan well it’s possible to enjoy a lovely day out, perhaps taking in two or more gardens, a pub lunch and walk round a village you’ve previously only known as a name on the county map, or not visited for some time.
According to the UK Landscaping & Garden Trends Report by Houzz.co.uk, almost a third of UK homeowners will undertake a garden project this year, with 28% planning to landscape or upgrade their grounds. If you’re one of them, and seeking ideas for your own garden, take a look at our selection, you’ll find many more open on dates throughout the summer at www.ngs.org.uk.
The village nestles in the Chilterns, near to the Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire border, half a dozen miles north of Aylesbury and close to the Grand Union Canal. Here you will find 17th century timber framed Westend House, a conversion of three original cottages. It’s the home of Richard and Sue Foster, where a luxury bed and breakfast stay can be enjoyed in the main house or adjoining converted barn, where self-contained accommodation is available.
Their extended and restored two acres of garden has been greatly developed over the past decade and last year was newly planted for late summer colour. It will be open under the NGS on Sunday, 2 August from 2 to 5.30pm, and visitors can view the herbaceous and shrub borders, formal rose garden, wild flowers, natural wildlife pond, potager and wood sculptures created from old tree stumps. Some sculptures will be for sale and home made teas available.
There’s also an orchard, and look out for rare breed hens, sheep and pigs.
Some bespoke sculptures for sale. Admission £3, children free, see www.westendhousecheddington.co.uk.
The village of Bradenham is owned by The National Trust. They lease Bradenham Manor, the childhood home of Benjamin Disraeli, to accountants Grant Thornton, who use it as their national training centre.
There’s something for everyone here as restoration projects continue. The trust had already reinstated Victorian parterres, summer borders, and rejuvenated a century-old orchard. Now there are plans to restore a kitchen garden and other areas, including a secret garden beside the medieval St Botolph’s church that rarely opens to the public, but will on this day, with guided tours.
There are stunning views from a wilderness garden lined with 17th century yews. As well as home made teas at the cricket pavilion on the village green, you can enjoy apple juice from the orchard and chat to the resident beekeeper.
Admission is £3.50, children go free, see www.nationaltrust.org.uk.
The Wittington Estate, Medmenham
Now the UK headquarters of international software specialists SAS, the 110 acre estate beside the Thames near Marlow was originally built in 1898 for Hudson Ewbank Kearley, later Viscount Devonport.
SAS, known across the world not only for their products but also for their employee benefits, have taken good care of Wittington. So staff enjoy the stunning views, kayaking on Hurley Weir, the beautiful grounds and play cricket on a restored pitch.
There’s a lot to see indoors and outdoors at Chenies Manor. The delightful gardens are divided into a series of compartments, with various colour themes and structural forms, within these are a couple of themed mazes for the children.
In the house, look out for the unusual spiral staircase where the handrail has been carved into the brick. Go along to their plant fair on Sunday, 19 Juily, 10am to 5pm, tickets are £8 for adults and £4 for children. The manor house is open from 2pm to 4.15pm at an extra cost of £4 adults and £2 for children under 14.
Chenies Manor, Chenies WD3 6ER. Tel 01494 762888, www.cheniesmanorhouse.co.uk