Hergest Croft Gardens
Attraction in Kington, Shropshire
With stunning views towards the Black Mountains, Hergest Croft Gardens has spectacular spring and autumn colour. They extend over 70 acres; contain more than 5,000 rare trees and shrubs planted in over six distinct areas.
Recently Julia and Edward Banks have taken over responsibility for the Gardens from their parents Lawrence and Elizabeth Banks, after their 30 years of stewardship making them the 4th generation of the family to care for it.
It is quite a responsibility when you read some of the recent things that have been written about Hergest Croft. Hugh Johnson wrote in the January edition of Hortus,”I find Hergest Croft one of the holy places of Horticulture”. The Tree Register of the British Isles that measures trees all over the country, said in its spring newsletter “a garden less visited than Wisley or Wakehurst Place, but equalling them in beauty and exceeding them all for its range of rare and spectacular trees”. They clearly have work in maintaing that reputation, but luckily Lawrence and Elizabeth are still around to give them help and advice.
All the family hope you will enjoy visiting and sharing the Gardens with them. Since Edward’s great grandfather built the house in 1896, this garden and the collection of plants has been built up by three generations of enthusiastic plantsmen. The planting includes many species introduced by Earnest ‘Chinese’ Wilson before 1920, complemented by newer collections from the 1980’s, which gives the garden a unique position in the British Isles.
This is far more than a plantsman’s garden. W.H.Banks’s artistic eye is clearly demonstrated in his use of plant associations on a grand scale: and his skill in gradually blending the garden into the surrounding countryside. Edward’s grandfather, Dick’s collections, especially of maples and birches, have been continued by his parent’s planting of the Maple Grove which began in 1985 and more recently by the Cedar Glade and Elizabeth Walk. Hergest Croft Gardens continues to change and develop as older areas are renewed and replanted, but the vision of Edward’s great grandfather still provides the framework of the garden.
The Gardens hold the National Collections of maples, birches and zelkovas, as well as over 90 TROBI ‘champion’ trees.
When visiting the Gardens begin by exploring the Conservatory with its display of many tender species and a collection of brightly coloured geraniums and fuchsias. Move onto the Lower Terrace where a striking blue agapanthus and white galtonias create a late-summer border. The large Rockery has been renovated; and the new Slate Garden features edging in six varieties of box with a large slate cone by Joe Smith.
The Azalea Garden: contains an impressive collection of azaleas which is a blaze of yellow orange and pink in May and June and are combined with a huge variety of exotic trees one of which is the largest specimen of the pocket handkerchief tree in Britain. The Maple Grove was started in 1985 and contains many new plants, introduced from the Far East and other parts of the world and many provide spectacular autumn colour. The Kitchen Garden features a Spring Border under an avenue of ancient apple trees with a magnificent display of all kinds of bulbs and especially brightly coloured tulips. Next to it is a long double Herbaceous Borders which are at their peak in July and August. There are also four Iris Borders and a traditional Rose Garden as well as a large old fashioned Kitchen Garden growing a range of unusual vegetables many of them heritage varieties. A walk through the Park with its magnificent collection of specimen trees leads you to Park Wood, some half mile from Hergest Croft. This secluded valley, hidden deep in an ancient oak wood, contains over 30 acres of giant rhododendrons and exotic trees, creating a Himalayan scene that will amaze and delight you.
An excellent tea-room in the old dining room is run by Ridgeway Catering which won a ‘Flavours of Herefordshire’ award. In the Hall is a gift shop and the plant sale area is located outside the conservatory.
The Gardens have been open for visitors for more than eighty years and the family hopes you will enjoy your visit and come again bringing your friends.
|Child||£0.00||Under 16's free|
|Day||1st April 2015 - 31st October 2015|
|Monday||12:00 - 17:30|
|Tuesday||12:00 - 17:30|
|Wednesday||12:00 - 17:30|
|Thursday||12:00 - 17:30|
|Friday||12:00 - 17:30|
|Saturday||12:00 - 17:30|
|Sunday||12:00 - 17:30|
|Bank Holidays||12:00 - 17:30|
From the junction of the A5/A49 (S) Shrewsbury. Take the A49 south to Leominster. In Leominster turn right on to the A44 and Follow to Kington. In Kington go over 2 roundabouts. Turn left down Montfort Road and right on to Ridgebourne Road.
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