We are delighted to welcome visitors back into the privately owned Walled Gardens At Croome Court in summer 2021.
The Walled Gardens are open from 11 am until 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays from 26th June until Sunday 26th September 2021. last entry is at 4 pm. Admission is £5 per adult (including National Trust members). *Dates published are subject to change. Under 18’s have free entry and must be accompanied by a paying adult.
Entry is via National Trust reception and pre-bookings are required for entry to NT Croome. To book your visit to Croome please visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croome/whats-on. Tickets to The Walled Gardens must be purchased separately at the entrance to the gardens. The gardens are signposted from reception.
Exclusive tours for groups (minimum 15 people) outside of the usual Walled Garden’s opening hours may be arranged by calling 01905 371006.
*Please note that due to Covid restrictions unfortunately we are unable to open the visitor centre, toilets or tunnels this year. Refreshments will not be available at The Walled Gardens. You are welcome to bring your own food & drink into the gardens and there is outside seating available. Why not bring a picnic? National Trust toilets are located at the NT visitor centre / reception and at the Court.
Press play on the video above to see a short feature by presenter Hollie Smith, for BBC Midlands, about the 2018 exhibition in the gardens.
Things to See and Do Whilst Visiting The Gardens…
Explore the rose garden – a romantic promise from Chris to his wife after they visited and fell in love with The Christchurch Botanic Gardens in New Zealand on their 25th wedding anniversary. Work started to recreate their own interpretation of the rose garden in 2007 and was completed 4 years later, filled with 50 varieties of scented David Austin roses. In the centre of the rose garden a sundial designed by Robert Adam which had been found in pieces on the Croome Estate has since been restored using a 1915 article showing photos of the sundial which was featured in Country Life Magazine.
Fresh produce and plants are on sale throughout the seasons, although the selection on offer is weather dependent. Visitors will be able to purchase a wide choice of freshly picked fruit and vegetables from the gardens (when available) at the entrance gate (cash and card accepted) to take home and enjoy. Discover Heritage variety vegetables and unusual plants which have been successfully grown in the walled gardens – why not have a go at growing them yourself when you get home?
Tod Vinery – Remains were recently uncovered of what we’d considered to be the ‘Bothy’ at the end of the Hot Wall in 2017. The initial ground works revealed a series of underground arches along the back wall, indicating that the structure was most likely to be something of significance. We now know that it is, in fact, the Vinery designed by George Tod for the 6th Earl in 1805 which we had previously misidentified during some earlier excavation work under the current Vinery. It is well documented that Vineries from mid to late 1800’s featured arches at the front of the building. This was accompanied by soil filled external trenches, in which the roots of the vines were planted, and the stems were then trained under the arches and up close to the glass ceiling. It took a visiting family, who were fascinated by the discovery, to actually make the link and put us (and the experts) back on track. Also, thanks to archivist Jill Tovey, we now have a copy of the invoice which came to £141.
Garden games are available on the lawn next to the rose garden. Visitors can shelter under the gazebos and relax in the seating areas both inside or outside. Why not bring a picnic to enjoy during your visit? On sunnier days, children and adults of all ages can entertain themselves with traditional style garden games to be played on the lawn.
The fig house and melon house have been fully restored back to their former glory. When Chris and Karen arrived at Croome in 2000, the glasshouses were derelict and in 2002 work began to assess the buildings before the restoration work could begin. A new timber framework was fitted on the melon house in 2004, and sash windows were fitted the following year. Today, both glasshouses are fully functioning and house a number of exotic plants, fruits and vegetables, some of which visitors will be able to purchase (subject to weather and availability).
Works took place in 2019 and 2020 to restore The Tomato House. This was a key project for The Walled Garden with all of the bespoke window and door frames being made in our in-house workshop. We used a type of wood called ‘Sapele’, a managed and sustainable African hard wood. This type of wood is used because we know that unlike most hard wood, it will take paint well. We also used Sapele wood when restoring the porch in the old cottage part of the house. Now complete, a variety of heritage tomato plants are happily growing in their new home.
The idea of The Mediterranean Garden first presented itself in 2016 when some dear friends donated two Olive trees into the fold. These mature trees are believed to be up to 300 years old, maybe even older than The Walled Gardens. Such a magnificent gift deserves appropriate respect, and so we set about creating an environment that would be their new home, hopefully for the next 300 years. With a preliminary design on the table, we were ready to advance with the first phase by late 2017. This involved building a 50m long curved retaining wall which would define the boundary and reduce the steepness of the bank allowing for future planting. After a period of bad weather which halted the project, work re-commenced in 2019 and the Ying Yang Tulip beds were added in, completing the design which you can see during your visit.
The Secret Woodland – We call this our secret garden because it has revealed so many secrets over the years during our time as custodians. We didn’t venture too much into this zone in the earlier days as we had plenty to keep us occupied elsewhere. However, once we finally realised that this was the ‘midden’ or ‘dump’ (as we call it these days) for the entire Croome estate, it rapidly became a point of fascination for us. Several archaeological digs were conducted professionally over a period of time and the results were staggering. As they say, “today’s rubbish is tomorrow’s treasure”.
Practical information to help with your visit to The Walled Gardens:
- Please note the majority of The Walled Gardens are accessible by wheelchair, however there are some limitations
- We advise visitors to wear suitable footwear whilst visiting The Walled Gardens
- There are steps into the greenhouses
Tether points are available just outside the entrance gate where we would be happy for you to leave your dog. We’re sorry, but no dogs are allowed inside the walled gardens, except for assistance dogs.
Please be aware of the following during your visit:
- Open water of the Dipping Pond
- Uneven paths (particularly the original stone paths at bottom of garden)
Photos captured by Victoria Richardson and Peter Young