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Hertfordshire's secret gardens

PUBLISHED: 01:17 18 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:24 20 February 2013

Hertfordshire's secret gardens

Hertfordshire's secret gardens

From dramatic town gardens to historic gardens, more than 50 gardens are open this year across Hertfordshire for the National Gardens Scheme in the famous 'Yellow Book'. Philippa Pearson reviews the gardens...

As a new season of garden visiting gets underway, the NGS Yellow Book is the perfect accompaniment to your exploring. With more than 3,700 gardens listed, over 50 of them are in Hertfordshire. Full descriptions of all the gardens including directions, admission and opening times are in the book or search online at the NGS website http://www.ngs.org.uk/



Town gardens


7 Byng Road, High Barnet EN5 4NW
Sunday 4th September, 2-5pm
Six different borders packed with plants in a tiny garden.


35 Digswell Road, Welwyn Garden City AL8 7PB
Sunday 31st July, 2-5.30pm, Sunday 23rd October, 2-5.00pm
Town garden with Piet Oudolf inspired borders, island beds and exotic planting.


8 Gosselin Road, Bengeo, Hertford SG14 3LG
Sunday 14th August, 12-5.30pm, Sunday 16th October, 12-4.30pm
Plant lovers garden with deep borders packed with perennials and grasses.


Keys Heath, Rosehill, Hitchin SG4 0JU
Sunday 19th June, 10am-5.30pm
Three acre informal garden with planting inspired by Penelope Hobhouse and Christopher Lloyd.


Kingfishers, 49a High Street, Watton at Stone SG14 3SX
Saturday 2nd, Sunday 3rd July, 1.30-5pm
Long narrow garden with pond, Mediterranean planting, vegetable beds.


19 Lancaster Road, St Albans AL1 4EP
Sunday 15th May, Sunday 10th July, 2-5.30pm
Medium-sized garden with richly-planted herbaceous borders.


Patchwork, 22 Hall Park Gate, Berkhamsted HP4 2NJ
Sunday 1st May, Sunday 21st August, 2-5pm
Sloping garden with fragrant and colourful planting


St Michaels Croft, Berkhamsted HP4 3TR
Sunday 29th May, 2-6pm
Large south-facing garden with densely planted borders, mature trees, water features.


Southend Farm, Stevenage SG1 3HS
Sunday 21st, Wednesday 24th August, 2-5pm
Plantswomans informal garden with mixed borders and pond.


14 Spooners Drive, St Albans AL2 2HL
Sunday 24th July, 2-5.30pm
Interesting suburban garden with mixed planting, wildflower area, pond.


Stressa, 126 The Drive, Rickmansworth WD3 4DP
Visits welcome by appointment, late May-early September
Plantsmans garden with gravel front garden, shady rear garden.


9 Tannsfield Drive, Hemel Hempstead HP2 5LG
Sunday 8th May, Saturday 30th July, Sunday 7th August , 2-5.30pm
A creatively planted small town garden with shade and gravel areas and mini orchard.


84 Valley Road, Welwyn Garden City AL8 7DP
Sunday 10th July, 2-5.30pm
Dramatic steeply sloping garden with modern perennial and grass planting.



Village and cottage gardens


47 Bournehall Avenue, Bushey WD23 3AU
Sunday 5th June, 2-5pm
Medium-sized village garden on three levels including sunken garden, pond and potager.


Croft Cottage, 9 Church Green, Bennington SG2 7LH
Sunday 19th, Wednesday 22nd June, 1-5pm
Cottage garden with pretty planting.


15 Gade Valley Cottages, Great Gaddesden HP1 3BW
Sunday 29th May, Sunday 10th July, 1.30-5.30pm
Plant enthusiasts sloping garden with unusual plants and trees


Hopleys, High Street, Much Hadham SG10 6BU
Telephone or see website for opening times
Four acres of informal island beds packed with plants.


106 Orchard Road, Tewin AL6 0LZ
Sunday 26th June, 2-5.30pm
Organic country garden with interesting 1935 style planting and orchard.



Evening openings


44 Broadwater Avenue, Letchworth Garden City SG6 3HJ
Friday 12th August, 6-9pm also Sunday 14th August, 1-5pm
Pretty plantswomans town garden crammed with unusual plants.


Amwell Cottage, Amwell Lane, Wheathampstead AL4 8EA
Friday 17th June, 6-9pm
Informal large cottage garden with orchard, roses, yew hedges, woodland pond.


22A The Avenue, Hitchin SG4 9RL
Friday 29th July, 6-9pm
Contemporary town garden with perennials, grasses, potager and pond


Hoglands and the Henry Moore Foundation Grounds, Perry Green SG10 6EE
Friday 1st July, 6-8pm
Vivid herbaceous borders near the house and Henry Moores sculptures.


The Royal National Rose Society, Chiswell Green AL2 3NR
Friday 24th June, 6-9pm
Stunning collection of roses.


2 Ruins Cottage, Ayot St Lawrence AL6 9BU
Saturday 11th, 2-7pm, and Sunday 12th June, 2-6pm
Contemporary cottage garden with tree deck and interesting architectural features.


Rustling End Cottage, Rustling End, near Codicote SG4 8TD
Friday 20th May, 6-9pm also Sunday 22nd May, 6-11am
Country garden with wildflower meadow, cottage garden with contemporary planting, vegetable garden.


The White House, Dane End SG12 0LP
Monday 6th June, 6-9pm also Sunday 5th June, 2-5pm
One and a half acre country garden with productive plot, orchard, perennials and conservatory.



Group openings


Beesonend Gardens, Harpenden AL5 2AN
Sunday 7th August, 2-5.30pm
Two gardens within walking distance of each other in different styles.


Danesbury Park Gardens, Welwyn AL6 9QB
Sunday 12th June, 2-5.30pm
Two contrasting gardens: one with island beds, one with a walled garden


Jenningsbury Gardens, Hertford Heath SG13 7NS
Sunday 29th May, 2-5.30pm
Three varied gardens from courtyard to plantsmans garden.


Letchworth Gardens SG6 3LB
Sunday 12th June, 1-6pm
A family garden with pond, stream and mixed borders and a mature organic garden with productive plot.


Oakridge Avenue Gardens, Radlett WD7 8EW
Sunday 24th July, 2-6pm
Two varied gardens in pretty village near St Albans.


St Stephens Avenue Gardens, St Albans AL3 4AD
Sunday 5th June, 2-6pm
Two totally different gardens in the same street.


Serge Hill Gardens WD5 0RY
Sunday 19th June, 2-5pm
Two stunning gardens which include RHS award-winning designer Tom Stuart-Smiths.



Country gardens and historic estates


The Abbots House, 10 High Street, Abbots Langley WD5 0AR
Sun 1st May, 2-5pm
A garden with many different styles and the only Oast House in Hertfordshire. After 20 years, last year of opening.


Ashridge, Berkhamsted HP4 1NS
Sunday 5th June, 2-6pm
190 acres of garden based on Humphrey Reptons 1813 designs.


Benington Lordship, nr Stevenage SG2 7BS
Sunday 26th June, 12-6pm
Seven acre garden with lakes, roses, herbaceous borders and kitchen garden.


Benington Park SG2 7BU
Sunday 17th July, 2-5pm
Remains of 17th century earthwork terraces and modern garden with good views.


Bride Hall, Ayot St Lawrence AL6 9DB
Sunday 5th June, 2-5.30pm
Garden divided into formal spaces including herb garden, prairie planting, lily pond and borders.


Bromley Hall, Standon, Ware SG11 1NY
Sunday 22nd, 2-.5.30pm, Monday 23rd, 11am-3pm, May
Four and a half acre garden with traditional and contemporary planting styles.


Capel Manor Gardens, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 4RQ
Saturday 15th, Sunday 16th October, 10am-5.45pm
30 acres of historical and modern themed gardens.


Dassels Bury, Braughing SG11 2RW
Sunday 26th June, 2-5-30pm
Terraced garden with stunning views, herbaceous borders, kitchen garden, orchard, woodland garden.


Great Sarratt Hall, Sarratt, Rickmansworth WD3 4PD
Sunday 29th May, 2-6pm
Four acres of varied planting including walled garden, rhododendrons and rare trees.


Great Stones, near Buntingford SG9 0AD
Sunday 7th August, 2-5pm
Two acre country garden with herbaceous borders, lavender walk, wooded area, pond, orchard, vegetable garden, greenhouses.


Knebworth House Gardens SG1 2AX
See website for opening times
Historic gardens and woodlands walks.


The Manor House, Bayford SG13 8PU
Sunday 15th May, 2-5pm
Established garden with specimen trees, unusual shrubs, walled garden


The Manor House, Ayot St Lawrence
Sunday 29th May, 11am-5pm
Walled garden, parterre, topiary, roses, perennials and water features.


Queenswood School, Shepherds Way, Brookmans Park AL9 6NS
Sunday 29th May, 11am-6pm
120 acres of informal gardens and woodlands, good rhododendrons.


St Pauls Walden Bury, Hitchin SG4 8BP
Sunday 8th May, 2-7pm
60 acres of formal woodland garden with excellent plants and features.


Shaws Corner, Ayot St Lawrence AL6 9BX
Sunday 5th June, 12-5.15pm
Historical garden of George Bernard Shaw complete with his writing hut.


Swan Hill Barn, Burnham Green, Welwyn AL6 0NH
Sunday 26th June, 2-5.30pm
Modern country garden with flower beds, vegetable garden pool, pergola


Thunderidge Hill House, Ware SG12 0UE
Sunday 5th June, 2-5.30pm
Well-established two and a half acre garden with lovely views, good variety of plants.


Waterdell House, Croxley Green WD3 3JH
Sunday 26th June, 2-5.30pm
Large walled garden with varied range of planting.


Woodhall Park, Watton-at-Stone SG14 3NF
Sunday 19th June, 12-5.30pm
Mature four acre garden with courtyard, roses, mixed borders, kitchen garden, parkland.

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