Views towards the Kitchen Garden

With our Garden Lates series returning this week, we shine a spotlight on some of our favourite plants and places to look out for on your next stroll around the gardens – at golden hour or anytime of day.

June: that magical time of year where the gardens are hitting their stride, with a sea of exuberant blooms and sunlit events. Roses beguile with timeless beauty and heavenly scent; red-hot pokers add drama in the Cottage Garden and yellow flag irises bring sunshine to the leafy surrounds of the Marl Pit.

Now’s the time to stop and feel the warm breeze on your skin, stay on your toes around the squirting toads and seek out shady spots for a restorative Mourvèdre Rose & strawberry sorbet from the Gelateria. As balmy days turn to languorous dusks, you can soak in the sights of the gardens after hours, every Thursday throughout June & July at our Garden Lates series. Book your pitch online to indulge in our speciality BBQ with seasonal sundowners and be sure to wander around the formal gardens as the sun sets.

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In celebration of this marvellous moment, here are some of our must-see sights to seek out this month…

The Stumpery

Our Tolkienesque, otherworldy realm has been created using the stumps of dead and dying trees from around the estate. It’s planted up with the likes of hazel and hawthorn along with some extraordinary non-natives, like the giant lily, which erupts into fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers come June. The forest floor is carpeted with ferns, while towering ash, sycamore and beech provide a shaded canopy above. Look out for critters hiding in the cavities of the stumps and take a seat on the fallen ash log for the view out across Belvedere Pond.

The Cascades

The beds on either side of the rill of water that flows down from one pool to the other are at their florescent best this month, like a slow firework of exploding colour and form. The waterlilies are in bloom, providing shelter for our newts, while mischievous toad sculptures are on hand to cool down little guests.

The Cascades

Ash Copse

Another cooling retreat with spectacular views is the ash woodland which overlooks the Marl Pit. Take a little wooden seat and listen to songbirds, watch wildlife and look out for the glossy green leaves of the hart’s tongue fern in the undergrowth. Follow the path around to the Deer Park and the Viper. 

Kitchen Garden

The perfect place for inspiration in spades to grow your own, the Kitchen Garden is starting to fill out with the season’s spoils; the fresh peas are particularly sweet right now. Set out in a grid system in a nod to ancient Islamic gardens, you can peruse the beds to see what’s going into your alfresco feast – from soft herbs to estate leaves, summer beans, young potatoes and more.

Medieval Herb Garden 

If you’re staying with us and taking some time out to enjoy the spa, be sure to wander through the Medieval Herb Garden to see and smell the mint at its enlivening best. We’d encourage you to pluck some leaves to take to your room for a refreshing mint tea. (Top tip: once you have harvested your mint, ‘smack’ it between your hands to release the aroma before placing it in your tea pot.)

Look for orchids in the Marl Pit

Wild Orchids 

Keep your eyes peeled for beautiful native orchids around the estate. You might spot Anacamptis morio, aka the green-winged orchid with its magenta hue or the pointy pink hats of pyramidal orchids, Anacamptis pyramidalis in the Marl Pit. Nature’s mimic, the mesmerising bee orchid, Ophrys apifera can sometimes be seen on dry grassy areas and Hotel guests can enjoy them by walking through the new lime avenue south west of Hadspen House.

The Apiary

Don’t miss a visit to the apiary around the Beezantium to see our bee-friendly Chelsea planting returned to Somerset. A mix of British native plants with some of our favourite hardy annuals, perennials and bulbs chosen to provide nectar and pollen for our precious pollinators year-round, it’s wonderful to see our feature garden come full circle.

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Stay a little longer at Garden Lates