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 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.
Gerritsen’s philosophy reflects that of Mien Ruys, the famous Dutch garden designer who once proclaimed her own gardening philosophy as “wild plantings within a rigid design”. Almost the absolute ideal, yet her maxim “you cannot imitate nature in the garden” stimulated Gerritsen to prove her wrong. In vain, for after years of trying he was forced to admit that weeds do find a natural balance in nature whereas in the cultivated garden they run riot. Because he wanted to impress his visitors with the idea that they were walking through a nature reserve free of fertilisers and pesticides, without the endless battle against weeds and predators, a need arose to find plants robust enough to withstand this onslaught. These he found by the celebrated garden designer and plants man Piet Oudolf. Many of the plants in the ornamental gardens at Waltham Place have been introduced through Oudolf’s nursery in the Netherlands.
Visit the Gardens
Whether you are an individual, or a larger group, wishing to enjoy a tour of the gardens, our gardeners will be delighted to show you round and introduce you to these stunning naturalistic gardens. With tours in small groups led by a knowledgeable guide there is plenty of time to ask questions and admire the plantings.
Garden Tours Waltham Place will be open for Garden Tours on Wednesdays, at 11am and 2pm, from 29th May 2019 to 25th September 2019.
Private Garden Tours Private Garden Tours are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, by appointment, from 28th May 2019 to 26th September 2019. Private Garden Tours have the use of the tearoom for packages to include lunch, morning coffee or afternoon tea. The Farm Shop will be opened for their use for a short time to include plants, books, copper tools and preserves. Enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01628825517.
Please note that photography is not permitted.