Bowood House and Blackland House
Our first visit today is to the award-winning Private Walled Gardens at Grade I listed Bowood House. Set within 100 acres of landscaped Capability Brown parkland, the Bowood estate has been home to the Landsdowne family since 1754. After morning coffee, we will be greeted by our garden tour guide for the morning, who will take us into the historic four-acre Private Walled Gardens, which are entered through a secret door. Divided into distinctly different quadrants, Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s gardens offer a huge variety of shrubs, perennials and climbers, including a lot of rare species. As well as formal borders totalling some 250 metres, there are working glasshouses, a picking garden filled with flowers and foliage from March to the end of October, and a produce-rich fruit and vegetable garden. A feature of Bowood is the ingenious and inventive use of vertical space, with trained and espaliered climbers and fruit trees. During the tour we will also meet garden consultant/designer Rosie Abel Smith, who has worked on the gardens over the past 15 years.
After lunch in the Stables at Bowood we will drive the short distance to Blackland House, a flower lover’s garden at the foot of the Marlborough Downs, where owner Polly Nicholson runs her organic flower business Bayntun Flowers. Recently featured in Gardens Illustrated and Country Life, this four and a half acre garden – already well established but redesigned in part by Arne Maynard – features wide herbaceous borders, a rose garden, specialised woodland beds and a rustic waterside walk. Author Candida Lycett Green lived here for a decade from the mid 1960s and there was input at that time from designers Julian and Isabel Bannerman. A formal walled garden has traditional glasshouses and cold frames filled with unusual heritage flowers, and the Victorian conservatory (a miniature version of the palm house at Bicton, Devon) houses pots and pelargoniums. Polly will be our host and our day will finish with afternoon tea and cake in the garden before leaving for our return drive to the station.
This event has been organised by the Garden Museum’s Garden Visits committee. We recommend you read our Garden Visits Attendee Charter and Refund/exchange policy before booking your place on any of our Garden Visits.