As warmer months fall upon us, it’s nice to start getting outside as much as possible and appreciate our surroundings once more. As the sun beats down it encourages new life to grow, and beautiful British gardens spring to life, trading their tertiary colours in for bright, vivid blooms and growths.
Here in Cheshire and our neighbouring counties, we are gifted with a range of historic and beautiful gardens. From large estates you can while away the day in to small, private gardens perfectly kept by their passionate staff, there is plenty to see. In this article, we look at some of the best gardens you must visit when in Cheshire.
Rode Hall has been handed down through generations of the Wilbraham family since 1669 and is still a family-owned garden to this day, which makes it totally unique. The house was built in the early 1700s and opened to the public in the 20th-century.
The bluebell walks here are the real highlight, and from mid-April, to early-May you can stroll through a sea of rich-blue flowers. If you are arriving earlier in the year, you may also be able to attend the snowdrop walks, which happen around February time.
As well as enjoying the gardens, Rode Hall also hosts a monthly farmers market that you can visit, the team tell us: “We have a superb two-acre walled kitchen garden, a real hidden gem, which provides produce for our tearooms and monthly farmers’ market. It is run by our Head Gardener, Kelvin Archer, who holds the world record for the largest gooseberries.”
Image Credit: Cholmondeley Castle
Cholmondeley Castle Gardens have been a defining feature of the Cheshire countryside for a long time. The large grounds mean it is quite easy to spend a day here enjoying the sunshine, with plenty to do on-site.
The team who work at the gardens told us more about the Castles history: “The Cholmondeley family have resided in Cheshire since Norman times. The first member of the family to take the name was Robert le Belward, who became 1st Lord of Cholmondeley in around 1200. The present Castle was built by George, 1st Marquess of Cholmondeley to his own design, using local sandstone. It has since been home to successive generations.
“The Cholmondeley family chapel lies to the north-east of the Castle. The oldest surviving part of the chapel dates from the 15th Century, and the building was restored and encased in brick in 1717. There is a fine 17th Century carved oak screen, and rare examples of early Flemish stained glass, which were collected by the 1st Marquess. The Chapel is still used for services and family occasions.”
The team then told us more about the gardens: “Cholmondeley Castle boasts ornate gardens, one of Cheshire’s ‘Gardens of Distinction’. The lands were originally laid out in the early 19th Century using architectural elements from the formal garden of the Old Hall, which had recently been demolished. However, they gradually fell into decline and were only properly restored and replanted by the late Lavinia, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, who came to live here in 1947 with her husband, Hugh, 6th Marquess. She set about creating ‘a garden of great romance’, introducing many specimen trees and shrubs, including rare magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons. Her legacy is continued today with new developments in the Rose, Temple and Folly gardens, and the Lavinia Walk, a fitting tribute to Lady Cholmondeley’s life and work in the garden.”
Eaton Estate is not only a garden and hall, but it’s also an area with over 10,000 acres of land filled with homes, farms, schools and more. The site reads: “The history of the Eaton Estate can be traced back to the 1440s when it first became the home of the Grosvenor family.” Since then, it has developed into a hub of activity and life.
Eaton Hall Gardens are large and well-kept, with a range of beautiful blooms and a more traditional style they are sure to capture anyone’s imagination. Renowned garden designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd explained her design for the renewed gardens: “My focus was to soften the gardens and to draw you from the house into the landscape. I wanted the gardens to be visually beautiful throughout the seasons, with interesting and appealing features, to reflect its setting as a family home. The four quadrants of the Rose Garden evoke the intimacy of the four small rooms and create a sense of mystery within an otherwise large, exposed open space. The original layout of the Dragon Garden is ascribed to Nesfield, and during its recent restoration the original statues and lotus vases have been reinstated.”
Please note: Eaton Estate is not open publically, and only opens on limited occasions to raise awareness and funds for local charities.
Tucked just outside of Cheshire in Staffordshire, Dorothy Clive Garden is certainly a delight worth the drive. Truly an English country garden, throughout all of the seasons there is something you can enjoy here, and you’ll certainly leave feeling inspired.
As well as coming here to unwind and relax within nature, you can also learn. They offer many adult learning workshops run by local experts in their pavilion and tearooms. Enjoy a day of art inspired by your surroundings, or even take a longer gardening course with the head gardener.
If you are looking for expertly crafted wedding packages, Cheshire, then here at Mottram Hall we are able to provide everything you need. Our beautiful estate is a vision and can provide the perfect backdrop to your big day and our professional team will take care of everything, meaning all you need to worry about is enjoying every second.