Audley End House and Park (EH) (V)

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Garden Category: East Anglia

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  • Explore gardens that were among the largest and most opulent in Jacobean England. Idyllic 18th century ‘Capability’ Brown parkland surrounds Audley End House. It includes Robert Adam’s neo-classical Teahouse Bridge, the Temple of Concord built to celebrate George III’s recovery from insanity, and the early Victorian garden, which recently underwent restoration. Wander round the beautiful recently restored 19th-century parterre with its magnificent floral displays and imagine yourself back in Victorian times as you take a turn around the organic walled Kitchen Garden growing original fruit and vegetable varieties.

    The garden is a great place to sit and, if you’re lucky, to see the kingfishers. In the Pond Garden the summer bedding has a typically Victorian hot-coloured theme – banana plants, cannas, dahlias, zinnias, rudbeckias and the lovely Spanish flag ( Ipomoea lobata). The climbing and rambling old-fashioned English roses along the walls, give a romantic feel to this quiet oasis.

    The park has an impressive collection of mature trees. Flowering in June and July the large tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) is covered with yellow tulip-shaped flowers. Summer brings the sight of new green seed cones on the Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) along with developing acorns on the large oaks in the parkland.

    The early days of summer always see a big leap forward in the Walled Kitchen Garden. Thousands of colourful bearded iris and heritage peonies flank the lengthy central path creating a glorious display during May and June. The Kitchen Garden is a hive of activity throughout the summer. Weeding, watering, planting, harvesting, and pruning keep the gardeners very busy. The Vinery Display House is packed full of pelargoniums that provide the main summer display as well as other tender flowering plants.

    Soft fruit is grown outdoors in beds as well as in the traditional wooden fruit cage. Heritage varieties of raspberries, gooseberries, strawberries, red currants and white currants can be found in the Kitchen Garden.

    Throughout the garden there are noteworthy mature trees ablaze with autumn colour. On the north lawn there are numerous London plane trees (Platanus x hispanica), tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera), oaks (Quercus sp.), and the showy sweet gum (Liquidamber styraciflua) on display. Near the Parterre, the Kentucky coffeetrees (Gymnocladus dioicus), the Howard oak (Quercus audleyensis), one of only two in the world, and the avenue of limes (Tilia sp.) are a sight to behold. There is also a Cedar of Lebanon planted in 1762 at the side of the House. Read more…

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