At Waddesdon, the arrival of spring in the gardens is heralded by the sight of thousands of daffodils bursting in bloom. This year, these swathes of sunny yellow flowers mark the start of an exciting spring and summer in the Grade 1 listed grounds at Waddesdon.
From mid-April to early May, thousands of tulips will take centre stage in the formal gardens. Breath-taking displays will transform the beds at the Aviary and Parterre, with over 115,000 tulips creating a glorious riot of colour. Visitors will also be able to stroll around Tulip Patch, where naturalised and meadow tulips will add splashes of colour to the grassy meadow.
As the days lengthen and summer appears, the formal gardens will be planted with Victorian-inspired bedding. Waddesdon is renowned as an exceptional example of Victorian horticulture and the displays this summer are not to be missed; from June onwards, the planting will be a colourful celebration of the Coronation of King Charles III. On the Parterre, the beds will be filled with regal colours of red, white and blue created using geraniums, begonias, petunias, salvias and more. This striking display will be complemented by Waddesdon’s famous carpet bedding which will honour the new King and Queen Consort, depicting the royal ciphers in over 55,000 3cm plug plants
Also on the Parterre, one of the carpet beds will carry a birthday message in celebration of the 100th birthday of the US statesman, Henry Kissinger, a long-term friend of the Rothschild family.
The Coronation celebration continues at the Aviary where the raised ribbon bedding will take inspiration from the royal colours of the Imperial State Crown. Rich purple and red begonias, petunias and salvias will be set against Begonia Non-stop Yellow and Petunia Mystical Midnight Gold.
This summer also sees the return of the popular three-dimensional birds. From July, a pheasant and brand-new robin sculpture will delight visitors in beds located – appropriately – near the Aviary. Each sculptural frame will be packed with peat-free compost and planted with around 10,000 plug plants to create the beautiful birds. Three-dimensional carpet bedding was first introduced to the gardens by Alice de Rothschild (1847-1922), second owner of Waddesdon, and was a pioneering gardening technique at the time. Today the birds honour Alice’s impressive horticultural legacy as well as her great passion for gardening. With a house ticket, visitors will be able to see Alice’s Wonderlands, an exhibition celebrating Alice’s life, collections and legacy.
Elsewhere, woodland glades and wildflower meadows are waiting to be explored and elegant sculptures are dotted through the gardens. Throughout the season, free 45-minute garden tours will be running – offering visitors the chance to learn more about the bedding displays as well as the history of Waddesdon and the Rothschild family, all while taking in the garden’s seasonal colours.
The grounds are open Wednesday – Sunday (until 29 October 2023).
Eythrope Walled Garden Tours
Every Wednesday from 17 May – 11 October 2023.
Discover the four-acre walled garden, glass houses and orchard at Eythrope.
Whether a home gardener looking for inspiration, a garden historian or professional hoping to learn a new trick, a visit to the private Rothschild walled garden at Eythrope will intrigue, inform and inspire.
Alice de Rothschild, creator of Eythrope, was a passionate and knowledgeable horticulturalist, renowned for her perfectionism and innovation. The walled garden at Eythrope was and is a productive garden, which supplied vegetables, fruit, herbs and cut flowers for her household, friends and family.
Today, alongside the family, produce is used in Waddesdon’s restaurants and hotel. A working garden on this scale is rare in the 21st-century and Eythrope is legendary in the garden world for the excellence of gardening and as a haven for traditional techniques that might otherwise be lost.
Visits to the gardens at Eythrope are by guided tour only. There will also be an opportunity to purchase seasonal fruit, vegetables and plants grown at Eythrope. Tour tickets also include admission to Waddesdon’s own gardens and light refreshments; hot drink and cake following the morning tour, or afternoon tea or a two-course lunch following the afternoon tour.
Forever Flowers with Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity
Wednesday – Sunday, 19 April – 1 May 2023.
This April, a thought-provoking installation of 1000 hand-crafted metal forget-me-nots will be on display at Aviary glade. In partnership with the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity, this installation will create an arresting display and can be enjoyed by those visiting the gardens at Waddesdon, offering a place to reflect and look forward.
For more information on Waddesdon Manor and its exhibitions, visit www.waddesdon.org.uk.
Image: Parterre at Waddesdon Manor © Waddesdon, A Rothschild House & Gardens. Photo Chris Lacey