The Renowned Gardens

Goodnestone Park’s exceptionally beautiful 15 acre gardens are known as ‘Sissinghurst without the crowds’ and famed for their historical interest and classically English planting. As well as the public garden, the pretty grounds immediately surrounding the house are for the exclusive use of guests.

 

Thanks to its long history Goodnestone Park is blessed with a selection of wonderful old trees. Perhaps the most prominent is the ancient cedar of Lebanon, Cedrus libani, that stands on a raised lawn to the north of the house’s main entrance. It dates from around the time that the house was built and as well as having had its top blown out in a storm half a century ago it has lost many branches to the weight of winter snow.

The Walled Garden is Goodnestone’s most renowned and popular area and many visitors think that the central view through the succession of mellow brick-walled enclosures to the church tower is one of the best in any English garden. Some of the walls are older than the house and having been carefully restored through the 1960s and 1970s they are now hung with a range of climbers and wall plants including clematis, jasmine, solanum and roses, Fremontodendron ‘California Glory’ and Carpentaria californica.

The Walled Garden has many hidden secrets to discover: the now huge wisterias planted before the war by Emmy FitzWalter that now cover the far wall in front of the church tower; the alpine garden where raised beds and sinks are planted with gentians and other tiny treasures; or the ornamental greenhouse overflowing with exotic tender plants.

The magnificent Queen Anne façade at the rear of the house overlooks a wide expanse of lawn from which a broad flight of steps leads down to the lower terrace where in 2000 a parterre designed by Charlotte Molesworth was laid out to celebrate the millennium. The pattern of box hedges, gravel and planted enclosures was taken from a detail of the early-18th century view of the garden by Harris, thus giving continuity over a period of three centuries.

 

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