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The county’s gardens are looking blooming beautiful this time of year and there are so many flowering places to visit and revel in Hampshire’s horticulture this summer.

From fabulous flower displays to extraordinary ornamental trees, read on for where to find gardens that will inspire any enthusiastic gardener and provide a tranquil haven for all to enjoy.


Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway

Although world-famous for its Rothschild collections of rhododendrons and azaleas, the horticultural appeal of Exbury in the New Forest doesn’t end in the spring.

Exbury's 200 acres transform into a shady sanctuary of tranquillity during summertime, with the Iris, Herbaceous, Sundial and Centenary Gardens coming into full bloom at this time of year.

Travel through the gardens with ease on Exbury's narrow-gauge steam railway which celebrates its 21st anniversary in 2022, or stroll along the New River Walk for a peaceful meander beside the Beaulieu River.


Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey is a highly esteemed arboretum and garden established by the distinguished plantsman Sir Harold Hillier in 1953.

Today the garden’s 14 National Collections, 600 Champion Trees and 42,000 plants flourish as one of the most important modern plant collections in the world.

The gardens are a wonderful place to visit with children, with a treehouse, bamboo tunnels, and seasonal trails and activities to explore.


Gilbert White’s House and Gardens

Natural history pioneer Gilbert White’s celebrated book ‘The Natural History of Selborne’ documents a fascinating series of letters and observations between White and his fellow naturalists, exploring wildlife in their local areas.

Along with the house, the extensive 18th century gardens have been beautifully restored, and visitors can follow in White’s footsteps to explore and discover the local habitats and their flora and fauna.


Mottisfont Abbey Garden, House and Estate

Located upon a natural font from which this Test Valley village and the abbey within it is named, Mottisfont is consequently a lush landscape for its gardens.

Behind the bricks of Mottisfont’s walled garden you’ll find its famed National Collection of old-fashioned roses with over 500 varieties in bloom from May to early July.

Mottisfont’s shaded riverside walk, romantic house, and an ice cream from its National Trust Cafe, provide a welcome and cooling respite on a summer’s day.

Because the rose garden is so popular in the summer, it’s essential to pre-book.  


Hinton Ampner House and Garden

Also a member of the National Trust family, and with its own stunning rose collection, is Hinton Ampner, near Winchester.

Hinton Ampner’s garden is widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of 20th century design with highlights including a sunken garden with fine topiary, a tranquil lily pond, and a walled kitchen garden.

Beyond the formal gardens, explore Hinton Ampner’s ancient trees and impressive estate walks with stunning views over the South Downs.


The Vyne

Another National Trust gem, The Vyne near Basingstoke is a warm red-bricked Tudor mansion built in the 16th century for Lord Sandys, Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain.

Surrounding the mansion’s façade is 13 acres of beautiful, relaxing gardens. Absorb the early summer scent of sweet peas and admire the late summer pom poms of dahlias in the walled garden. Enthral in the verdant nature of the wild garden and wetlands and stroll along Lime Avenue to find the ancient Hundred Guinea Oak and the faded grandeur of the 17th-century Summerhouse.


Furzey Gardens

Also in the New Forest, the delightful Furzey Gardens – which is celebrating its centenary in 2022 – is a secret gem that can be found at Minstead.

Search for the charming fairy doors throughout this small and serene woodland garden and you’ll be able to feel the magic amongst the florae. Refresh with afternoon tea at the thatched tea rooms and recreate the enchantment of Furzey back home with a purchase from the plant sales area.


Houghton Lodge Gardens

Idyllically located beside the tranquil waters of the River Test, Houghton Lodge (a fine example of an 18th century Cottage Orné) is home to one of the most beautiful privately owned gardens to visit in Hampshire.

With untouched views across the valley and water meadows there are both formal and informal gardens to enjoy, including a traditional kitchen garden, apple orchard, herb garden and a new oriental garden. Venture down to the meadows to meet resident alpacas, Tom, Dick, and Harry.


West Green House Garden

A garden of great character, West Green House Gardens in Hartley Wintney is a historic garden with contemporary flair created by acclaimed Australian garden designer Marylyn Abbott.

Also known as The Opera Garden, referring to its creator’s combined passions for English gardens and international opera, the gardens are renowned for their theatricality.

Highlights include a grand water staircase, the Nymphaeum Fountain designed by neoclassical architect Quinlan Terry, a magnificent Walled Garden, the Paradise Water Garden, the contemporary Garden of the Five Bridges, and the terraced Theatre Lawn which plays host to a notable summer outdoor opera season.


The Lavender Fields

With a field of fragrant purple blooms to rival Provence, The Lavender Fields at Hartley Park Farm near Alton are a local landmark. 

Introduced in 1999 by fourth generation farmers with a love for their local landscape, English lavender is enjoying a renaissance here in Hampshire.

Child entry tickets to the field include a free bug hunt kit and there is also half an acre of beautiful wildflowers to appreciate.

To see the lavender in its full glory, head to a lavender farm anytime in July, August and early September and stop by the onsite Lavender Farm Shop to savour that lovely perfume with some local lavender produce.  


Make a weekend of it

Make the most of your visit by booking a night or two to stay in Hampshire.

Hampshire has a variety of places to stay – from quaint self-catering cottages to holiday centres and the best glamping sites. If you are looking to get the family together or maybe treat them to a getaway – we are sure that you will find the perfect break in Hampshire.

Visit our accommodation page and browse a range of hotelscampsitesglamping sites, and self-catering properties


We’d love to see your photos of gardens in Hampshire on our InstagramTwitter, or Facebook pages.  Tag us in your pics by using #VisitHampshire.

Related

Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway
Countryside, Parks & Gardens
Exbury Gardens in the New Forest

Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway is currently closed for winter maintenance. We look forward to welcoming you back from 1st March 2021.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
Garden
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

The magnificent Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is world famous for its arboretum and gardens – set over 180 acres of rolling Hampshire countryside; this garden is stunning whatever the season.

Gilbert White’s House & Gardens
Museum
Gilbert White’s House & Gardens

Located in Selborne, a stunning corner of the South Downs National Park, Gilbert White’s 17th century home is now a museum open to visitors. Museum highlights include, the original manuscript of ‘The Natural History of Selborne’, White’s 18th century floral embroidered bed covers and White’s taxidermy hawfinch.

Mottisfont Abbey Garden, House and Estate
Historic House / Palace
Mottisfont House

Ancient trees, babbling brooks and rolling lawns frame Mottisfont's 18th-century house with a medieval priory at its heart. There’s space to run, jump and play, and always something for families to do, with activity trails in school holidays and a special family exhibition every summer.

Hinton Ampner House and Garden
Garden
Hinton Ampner House and Garden

Best known for its fine garden, Hinton Ampner is an elegant country house with an outstanding collection of furniture, paintings and objets d'art.

The Vyne
Castles & Stately Homes
The Vyne Tudor Mansion, National Trust

The Vyne is a warm red-bricked Tudor mansion built in the 16th century for Lord Sandys, Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain, which later passed into the hands of the Chute family, who cared for the house and estate for over 300 years. It was remodelled to its present configuration in the mid-17th century.

Furzey Gardens
Garden
Furzey Gardens

Set in Minstead this delightful, informal garden established in 1922 is renowned for its all year round beauty. The peaceful 10 acre woodland gardens include a lake, tea rooms, play area, bee and thatching display, cobb cottage and alpacas.

Houghton Lodge Gardens
Garden
Houghton Lodge Gardens

It is a family home that has been described by visitors as ‘a little piece of heaven’ with gardens, which provide colour and delight throughout the seasons. Houghton Lodge and Gardens is situated in the heart of the Test Valley and only five minutes from the local market town of Stockbridge. Built in 1793 and probably intended as a fishing lodge, Houghton Lodge is the UK's best surviving example of an 18th Century Cottage Orné.

West Green House Gardens
Garden
West Green House Gardens

West Green House Gardens is an historic garden with a contemporary twist.

The Lavender Fields
Special Interest
The Lavender Fields

he Lavender Fields at Hartley Park Farm are in the heart of the Hampshire countryside. Third generation farmers, The The Lavender Fields value their local landscape and having introduced lavender to the farm ten years ago, the fields are now a local landmark.