Gardens to Visit
2016 is the Year of the English Garden. On your visit to Windsor and Maidenhead, be inspired by some of the gorgeous gardens in our patch! We have gardens you can visit throughout the year - discover and enjoy the different seasonal displays - and we have gardens that are 'hidden gems', only open for part of the season. We have the grand in scale and smaller, more intimate gardens too. Whatever your garden interest, come and visit.
Cliveden, near Maidenhead
When you visit the National Trust's gardens at Cliveden you’ll discover a feast for the senses; not one garden but a whole series of impressive gardens, each offering you its own special charm.
Open for much of the year, you can visit and appreciate each glorious season and what it has to offer.
The Terrace above Cliveden's Parterre offers a perfect vantage point to look down on the display. It will take your breath away. A wander amongst the beds is as rewarding – you’ll see and appreciate the detailed and abundant planting that creates the mass of colour.
For spring 12,000 bedding plants such as pansies, bellis and forget-me-nots as well as over 10,000 tulip bulbs, are planted. Come summer, the centre of the beds are filled with plants such as ghent azaleas under-planted with foxgloves whilst in the outer beds rows of plants such as salvia, petunias, begonias and marigolds weave a multi coloured thread.
The spring display is usually at its peak from mid-April to mid-May with the summer display coming into bloom from late June through until September. Exact timings can vary depending on the weather so do call 01628 605069 if you’re going to make a special trip.
The Water Garden
The Water Garden is tranquil and relaxing with the water reflecting the gorgeously muted colours of spring, such as cherry blossom, wisteria and magnolia. Make a beeline for the Water Garden in Autumn too for vibrant leaf and berry colour in abundance.
The Long Garden
In Cliveden's Italianate Long Garden floral displays mingle with quirky topiary and statues. New floral schemes are planted every spring and summer so you’ll discover a mass of colour within the four box-edged floral beds – thousand upon thousand of spring bulbs followed by summer bedding.
The Rose Garden
Reinstated in 2014, the Rose Garden is based on an original 1950s design by renowned garden designer Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe. Over 900 roses create a colourful summer-long display between June and September.
As you make your way up to Cliveden House you cannot fail to be impressed by the two abundant herbaceous borders – one with a hot theme, one with a cold theme – situated in front of the house, providing a visual spectacle between May and October.
This busy National Trust property has a whole programme of events where you will discover so much more than you knew about gardens and gardening before.
The Savill Garden and Valley Gardens
This time of year is so exciting within the Great Park, when everything starts to come to life after the Winter. In the early days of Spring, make sure you pay a visit to Daffodil Valley in The Valley Gardens, and Spring Wood at The Savill Garden. The magnolias in The Valley Gardens are stunning, as is the Punch Bowl when the rhododendrons and azaleas start to flower in May.
As the year progresses and Spring turns into the warmer months, pay a visit to Summer Wood in The Savill Garden - and to The Summer Gardens, where the Rose Garden will be in full bloom. The hydrangeas on Breakheart Hill in The Valley Gardens are also unmissable.
You can’t help but be amazed by the stunning Autumn Colour for which Windsor Great Park is famous – especially the maples and cherries in The Savill Garden and The Valley Gardens. At this time of year the fungi displays are also outstanding, but please remember not to pick them! And do keep watch when in the Deer Park, as it’s rutting season, which can be very exciting when our stags lock antlers.
Although the seasons start to change, our Winter Beds in The Savill Garden are still a delight to see, so it’s still worth a visit even though the colder weather is creeping in. Remember, there is free entry to The Savill Garden in December – and while you’re there, it’s also the perfect opportunity to do some Christmas Shopping in The Savill Building.
Waltham Place Estate
Waltham Place is Berkshire's best-kept secret, a 220-acre organic and biodynamic farm of which 50 acres is woodland, a lake, ornamental and kitchen gardens. The garden has quite restricted opening opening arrangements but those who visit are rewarded with a beautiful space - a garden developed along the principles of 'natural planting'.
You will discover a series of walled gardens, the oldest dating from the 17th century, an English landscape garden with splendid specimen trees planted in the early 19th century, and a huge double border enclosed by yew hedges - these are the main features of the ornamental gardens.
Within this framework many intimate areas invite the visitor to pause and contemplate, for here new gardening concepts are afoot. The Dutch garden designer Henk Gerritsen, renowned for the Priona gardens in the Netherlands, was commissioned in 1999 to transform the formal gardens using his principles of natural plantings reflecting his idea that nature is not symmetrical but irregular, free and whimsical.
In 2016, Waltham Place is open 24 May to 29 September on Tuesday and Thursdays (for pre-booked groups) and Wednesdays by guided tour at 11am and 2pm for individuals (£5 per head, booking advisable)
Dorney Court, near Windsor, is one of the area’s hidden gems. Primarily the Palmer Family home, Dorney Court is also used for filming, weddings and events. The house and garden are only open to the public on certain days each year but they are well worth a visit.
The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens and acres of mature parkland. Lush green lawns are divided by ancient yew hedges and herbaceous borders with the whole scene being framed by ornamental trees.
An English rose garden sees varieties such as Queen Elizabeth and Winchester Cathedral compete for space in beds echoing the contours of the House. You’ll notice a quirky fountain in the rose garden too – an Indian elephant enjoying a cooling shower, one of many features at Dorney Court that reflect the connection between the Palmer family and the sub-continent.
Enjoy a relaxed stroll through the sun-dappled Dell with its shrub-fringed path.
An avenue of gnarled apple trees divides the gardens from the parkland where a flock of Cambridge sheep graze beneath the lime trees.
Dorney Court Kitchen Garden, a high quality garden centre situated next to the House, serves cream teas and light lunches throughout the year.
There are many public gardens and parks in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead but the riverside setting and impressive views of Windsor Castle make Alexandra Gardens worth a visit.
The gardens date from 1902; a London plane tree was planted here in August of that year to celebrate the coronation of Edward VII and his Queen, Alexandra.
A bandstand was an original feature and in 2016 a replacement bandstand was built to celebrate the unique and long-standing links between Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the armed forces and Windsor.
Alexandra Gardens is a pleasant place to relax with friends and family, enjoy a picnic and watch the world go by.
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