Gardens to Visit in Essex

The low rainfall of rural Essex has lead to a number of innovative gardens, designed to cope with these exceedingly dry conditions. They include the dry garden at RHS Hyde Hall and the gravel garden of Beth Chatto, with its scree beds and Mediterranean planting.

Audley End

The Great Lake © Seasonal Gardening

Historic gardens and parkland, featuring a large artificial lake fed by the River Cam. Landscaped by capability Brown in 1763, it boasts a number of magnificent landscape features, including classical temples, ornate bridges and a formal parterre. Don't miss the Teahouse on a bridge.

Facilities: parking, shop
Open: March to October
Address: CB11 4JF
Tel: 01799 522399 - Run by English Heritage

Beth Chatto Gardens

Beth Chatto Woodland Garden by McGap (CC0)

Developed by the eminent gardening writer Beth Chatto, who created a inspirational garden on a difficult site, by careful selection of plants best suited to each particular environment. Includes gravel, water and woodland gardens with many unusual plants and planting combinations. The herbaceous borders and ornamental grasses are at their best in late summer.

Facilities: parking, cafe, tea room, plant sales
Open: all year (closed Xmas)
Address: Elmstead Market, Essex C07 7DB
Tel: 01206 822007

Easton Lodge

The Italian Garden © Paul Farmer (CC2)

A Victorian Gothic style stately home set in 23 acres of historically restored gardens, originally designed by Harold Peto in 1902. Features include an Italian garden and walled garden plus formal lawns and borders. Good spring bulb and flower displays.

Facilities: parking, refreshments, guided tours
Open: April to October (public days only)
Address: Little Easton, Great Dunmow CM6 2BB
Tel: 01371 87697

Green Island

Colourful Mixed Borders © Seasonal Gardening

Professionally designed gardens set within a large woodland environment. A plant person's paradise with many interesting and unusual species. Good year round interest. Includes terraces, sweeping borders and island beds. Also water gardens, gravel gardens, a seaside garden and a Japanese garden. Regular workshops and courses available.

Facilities: parking, tea room, plant nursery
Open: February to November
Address: Park Road, Ardleigh C07 7SP
Tel: 01206 230455

Marks Hall

Maple Leaves in Autumn by Pexel (CC0)

Jacobean country house accompanied by 200 acres of beautiful gardens, combined with an enviable collection of magnificent trees from around the world. Enchanting gardens that provide enjoyment in any season. Excellent for woodland walks.

Facilities: parking, tea rooms, buggy tours
Open: January to November
Address: Nr Coggeshall, Essex CO6 1TG
Tel: 01376 563796

RHS Hyde Hall

The Dry Garden © Seasonal Gardening

Beautiful and inspirational hill top garden. Covers a range of gardening styles, from modern to traditional. Spectacular year round interest and colour. Noted for its Dry Garden, which supports a wide variety of drought resistant plants, selected to thrive in the low Essex rainfall. Highlights include a Rose garden, several colour themed herbaceous borders, a winter garden and a small lake.

Facilities: parking, restaurant, shop, plant sales
Open: all year, daily (exc. Xmas)
Address: Creephedge Lane, Rettendon CM3 8ET
Tel: 01245 400256

Due to the wide variations in opening times, and seasonal changes, we are only able to state the core months in which these gardens are open. For details of the actual days and times of opening, please visit the garden's website using the link provided or call them using the telephone number listed.

Gardens by Area