Ornamental Gardens
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 plantsman Piet Oudolf. Many of the plants in the ornamental gardens at Waltham Place have been introduced through Oudolf’s nursery in the Netherlands.

Garden Tours from May to September

Online Booking Available Soon Save the Date! Our new website will launch by the beginning of May allowing visitors to book online. If you would like to be notified of the launch date, please email education@walthamplace.com  and we will notify you on the day we go live.

We will be opening for Garden Tours from the 26th of May 2021.

There are three types of tour on offer:

Wednesday Garden Tour at 11 am and 2 pm
Join one of our knowledgeable gardeners on a tour of these delightful naturalistic gardens. Tours are conducted in small groups allowing plenty of opportunity to discuss the plantings and ask questions as you go. Please allow two hours for your tour. £8 per head. To include a glass of organic cordial. Booking via the new website after 1st May 2021.

Friday Garden Tour at 11 am and 2 pm
Book a private tour for groups of up to 5 people and tailor the tour to your interests. Groups may wish to explore our biodynamic ethos spending more time in the Kitchen Garden, bring the children along and follow their interests or focus more on the wildlife of the garden – it’s up to you. Please allow two hours for your tour. £40 per group (maximum of 5 people) To include a glass of organic cordial. Booking via the new website after 1st May 2021.

Larger Private Tour Groups If you are interested in booking a larger tour group for a society or club please email estateoffice@walthamplace.com to discuss dates and packages. These larger private tour groups operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 21st June 2021.

Plan your visit