Houghton Lodge opens for Free as part of National Open Gardens Day
The Grade II* listed, Houghton Lodge Gardens in Stockbridge will be taking part in the National Open Gardens Day by offering free entry to the picturesque gardens on Friday 17th April, as part of National Gardening Week (13 – 19 April).
National Open Gardens Day aims to celebrate fantastic, entrancing, historical, visual, educational and the delicious array of gardens across the country and to encourage as many people as possible the chance to visit and find out for themselves what makes gardens so brilliant.
The Gardens, which sweep down to the River Test, are looking particularly colourful this spring with daffodils lining the edges of the river. The front drive is looking colourful with daffodils and a sea of blue scilia and primroses. The Mercury border in front of the 18th century Cottage orné is looking charming with purple aubretia,white alyssum, blue and white hyacinths and the emerging tender stems of the delphiniums.
The topiary garden has a bank full of different coloured primroses and the long bank in front of the long border is a mass of spring bulbs including daffs and hyacinths and the verandah bed has pretty tulips bursting into flower.
Sophie Busk, who runs the Gardens, said: ”Spring has well and truly sprung at Houghton Lodge. We are waiting in anticipation to see the tulips flower around the garden which we hope to be a mini tulip festival. The Topiary garden is planted with five different varieties of purple tulip, and the raised beds in the walled garden with 1500 different varieties of coral, pink and red tulips! Currently the tubs are overflowing with different shades of hyacinth. ”
“With the recent opening of our new Tea House, Daisy’s of Houghton and our art exhibitions with Creative Coverage, the National Open Gardens Day gives us a perfect opportunity to thank our frequent visitors and to welcome new. We really are a hidden gem in the Test Valley and we want so show our garden to as many as possible.”
Also as part of National Gardening week, there will be talks and demonstrations by two ‘gurus’ of the gardening world: Jim McDonald who is a sweet pea expert and RHS judge who will be talking about how to plant and bring on sweet peas and Andy Phillips, expert Orchid grower who knows all there is to know about growing the beautiful exotic plants. The talks will take place on the 17th April at 11.30am and 2.30pm for sweet peas and 3.30pm for orchids, with a small charge of £3 per person.
Houghton Lodge Gardens is open daily from 10am to 5pm.