Open Garden 2019-09-18T12:21:34+00:00

Opening 31st May 2020

We will be opening the garden again on Sunday 26th May from 12-5pm

under the NGS together with a donation to St Peters Church, Freston.

Admission charges : £5 for adults, children free.

Just like last year, we will be serving teas, coffees, ice creams and cakes

We planted out even more hostas in the woodlands and many more varieites of brearded iris, particularly in the cottage garden.

We’ll have hundreds of plants for sale including dozens of varieties of hostas, and bearded iris as well shrubs, trees and other perennials

As a reminder, I’ve left the description of the highlights of the spring opening below

The Purple Garden with its mass plantings of early-flowering perennials and bulbs including Allium ‘Globemaster’ & ‘Purple Sensation’, iris sibirica, lupins, osteospermum and dozens of varieites of bearded iris should be looking at its best. In the Cottage Garden, the arching stems of the Kolkwitzia ‘Pink Cloud’ will be smothered with fragrant pink flowers, complementing the ruby-red peonies, geraniums and dianthus.  Many of the shrub borders will also be in flower, from the yellows of early roses and laburnums to the whites of  Spirea ‘Snowmound’ and physocarpus ‘Diabolo’. There’ll still be plenty to see in the large winter garden too. Originally inspired by Anglesey Abbey, highlights of the planting there include bright red-stemmed cornus, silver-stemmed  rubus, variegated holly,  mahonias, hellebores, a grove of betula ‘Jacquemontii’ (the white-barked Himalayan Birch) heavily scented lonicera purpusii & hamamelis and mature prunus serulla with its wonderful glossy, copper-red peeling bark. And finally, the thousand or so varieites of hostas, which are slowly being planted out in the woodlands, will be newly in leaf.

Please note, there will be other gardens open in Freston on the same day in aid of St Peters Church, Freston.

Admission to view these gardens is not included in the ticket for Freston House.

St Peters church will also be open and decorated with flowers. Admission is free. Donations gladly received.

2019 Opening

On a warm, albeit slightly damp, day, we had about 370 visitors for the end of spring opening last year.

When combined with donations and the three private visits from gardening clubs/societies which we hosted in the following week, the events raised around £4,000, to be shared between the various NGS charities and St Peters Church, Freston.

Thank you again to all of the visitors and for your kind feedback. If anyone has had their interest in hostas sufficiently piqued, more information can be found elsewhere on this website and on the official site of the British Hosta & Hemerocallis Society, here.

All net proceeds from sale of refreshments & 90% of those from the plant sale in aid of St Peters Church Freston
Hundreds of plants for sale at very reasonable prices

Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a piece of cake

‘Hillside’ also open. Separate admission required. Usually a flower show in St Peters Church – confirmation & details to follow.

Adults £5,   Children free
Happy to host visits from Horticultural Societies and Gardening Clubs provided they are within a few weeks of the Open Garden date. All proceeds & donations will go to St Peters Church.

Plants for Sale in 2018

Last year we propagated a lot of varieties of penstemon. Quite a number of these which were a little small to offer at last years Open Gardens have grown on well, so we will be to aoffer them in 2-3litre pots by spring. We should still have most of the 10 different varieties available including the dark purples of ‘Raven’ & ‘Plum Jerkum’, the white ‘Wedding Day’, the classic red ‘Garnet’, the 2-tone pink & white ‘Pensham Laura’ and the red-leafed ‘Husker Red’.

As well as all of our usual summer-flowering favourites, which include agapanthus, verbena bonariensis, achilleas, kniphofia, dahlias, coreopsis, rudbeckia, perennial foxgloves, lysimachia, heleiums to mention just a few, we will try to offer as many as we can of the spring-flowering perennials which will be in bloom on the day. This will include iris sibrica, osteospermum jucundum, several varieities of bearded iris, lupins, arum lilies. We will also have a good selection of grasses including stipa gingatea, stipa tenuissima and one or two varieties of miscanthus as well as some trees, shrubs and phormiums from the winter garden.  Finally, I hope to be able to offer at least 20 different varieties of hostas, including a few unusual ones.


Plants for Sale in 2016

Hit the download button to view

We will have a similar selection for sale in future years.


Appeal for Plant Pots

As we sell over 300 plants every year at the open garden, we’re now starting to run short of pots, particularly large ones. So, if anyone who bought plants from us last year (or from anywhere else for that matter) still has any large, empty unwanted pots (4 litres or above) please bring them along to the open garden this year. I’ll clean them and reuse them. This will help to keep down the costs of the plants we sell.

The Gardens in Spring

There are many varieties of trees, shrubs and especially perennials that have finished flowering before visitors to the summer Open Garden can appreciate them. Our selection of spring-flowering plants includes the following :

Iris – we have a collection of about 40 varieities of mainly Bearded but also Siberian, Dutch and other types of iris. Most of them flower in late spring.

Lupins – our relatively light soil and mild(ish) winters seem to suit lupins. They generally reward us with a spectacular late spring show of colour, particularly in the purple garden where they’re planted in drifts. We mainly have pink hybrids, but have started to experiment with other named varieties.

Peonies – often undervalued due to their short flowering season, their brief moment of late-spring glory is something to savour. We like the traditional rich ruby-red shades, which we’ve used in the cottage garden.

Flowering Cherries – no spring garden is complete without the blossom of at least one flowering cherry. As well as several of the traditional ‘Sato’ cherries (prunus serrulata), of which ‘Kazan’ is our favourite, we also grow some of the smaller prunus incisa varieties as medium-sized shrubs.

We have many other spring-flowering trees, shrubs and perennials including rhododendrons, laburnum, lilacs, a large planting of probably the earliest flowering rose (xanthina ‘Canary Bird’), choisyas, spirea, deutzias, the incredibly floriferous Pearlbush (exocharda x macrantha ‘The Bride’), aquilegia, several varieties of allium, campanulas, tradascantia, the semi-hardy zantedeshias and early-flowering clematis, including alpinas and, of course, montanas.

Other noteable year-round stalwarts in flower in the spring include osteospermum jucundum and several varieties of dianthus and geraniums.

Finally, late spring visitors can also see the winter garden at something close to its best. Although just in leaf, the bright red and yellow stems of the cornus ‘Sibirica’ and ‘Flaviramea’, the orange stems of the pollarded willows, the sliver stems of rubus cockburnianus and the near-white trunks of the himalayan birch (Betula utilis var. jacquemontii) can still be seen.

A selection of the many Bearded Iris cultivars in the gardens. Press the arrows to scroll.