Swathes of riverside daffodils, dainty crocus, hyacinths and bright blue scilla will set the scene on the 1st April as Houghton Lodge Gardens opens its gates for the 2018 season.
Early visitors to the Hampshire garden which lies just outside Stockbridge, will be treated to the heart-warming sights of spring across the Walled Garden, Long Border, Peacock Garden and the rolling lawns down to the River Test.
The Mini Tulip Festival returns mid – late April providing a splash of colour across the Walled Garden’s raised beds and borders. Planted in regimental rows and romantic drifts, visitors can expect a variety of colour from the bold to the pale, and textures such as the wispy petals of fringed varieties and the traditional smooth, classic tulip curves. This year, the beds will feature varieties such as the burnt orange and terracotta of Tulip Jimmy, the deep opulence of Tulip Ronaldo, the subtle scent and fire orange of Ballerina, the dainty blousy white and purple Shirley, and the pretty lilac of Negrita.
Having enjoyed the abundance of spring, visitors can tuck into delicious homemade cakes and light refreshments in Honesty at Houghton Lodge tearoom. Visit the tearooms between the 1st April and 6th April for a free chocolate brownie with a purchase of a hot drink, which you can enjoy in The Orangery or on the patio in the spring sunshine.
2018 Seasons Highlights include: Music on the Test in July, Art Exhibitions in The Orangery, Apple Day in September and House Tours (must be pre booked, see website for dates and details)
Houghton Lodge Gardens open on Easter Sunday 1st April until 30th September 11am – 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 5pm on weekends and Bank Holidays.