There are some lovely gardens in Essex – but not that many of them, and some of them have limited opening times. We’ve put a list of the major gardens below. We’ve been to many of them, and we’re planning to get to as many as possible! And we have a list of Essex gardens open as part of the National Garden Scheme in 2016.
Audley End House and Gardens
Off London Road, Saffron Walden, CB11 4JF
In addition to the wonderful Audley End House, and the events they run, it’s worth going there just for the gardens! There is the ornamental garden, and also the walled garden and greenhouse to spend lots of time exploring, and a shop to buy plants. more details
Beeleigh Abbey Gardens
Abbey Turning, nr Maldon, CM9 6LL
A delightful series of gardens in three acres, with plenty to explore, and a river view, between Maldon and Woodham Mortimer. There are refreshments and a chance to buy plants, but the Abbey itself is now a private residence. more details
The Beth Chatto Gardens
Elmstead Market, Colchester, Essex CO7 7DB
The Beth Chatto Gardens began in 1960. From an overgrown wasteland with poor gravel soil and boggy hollows it has been transformed into an informal garden harmonising with the surrounding countryside, with a number of gardens, developed by a master plantswoman. more details
Bridge End Garden
A series of seven interlinked gardens laid out by the Gibson family in the nineteenth century. These grade II-star listed gardens are now under the control of Saffron Walden Town Council, and remain open to the public each day free of charge. more details
Cressing Temple Barns
Witham Road, Braintree, CM77 8PD
In addition to the amazing barns, and the tea room, there are some big lawns, a pond, and a delightful walled garden to explore.
Feeringbury Manor Gardens
Coggeshall Road, Feering, Essex CO5 9RB
10 acres of gardens leading down to the River Blackwater, on a very historic site. Lovely gardens over several levels, with sculptures and a meandering river to enjoy.
The Gardens of Easton Lodge
Little Easton, Great Dunmow, CM6 2BB
The Gardens of Easton Lodge is an idyllic listed haven which has been partially restored to its former glory by a team of dedicated volunteers and the owners of Warwick House.” Open one Sunday a month during the summer. more details
The Gibberd Garden
Marsh Lane, Gilden Way, Harlow, CM17 ONA
The Gibberd Garden has glades, groves, pools and alleys which provide settings for some 80 sculptures, architectural salvage, large ceramic pots, a gazebo and a moated castle. Home to the late Sir Frederick Gibberd.
Green Island Gardens
Park Road, Ardleigh, CO7 7SP
Green Island Gardens are private gardens, open for the public to visit in Ardleigh near Colchester. Professionally designed by its owner Fiona Edmond, Green Island Gardens are laid out as a series of structured gardens displaying a huge range of unusual trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs. more details
RHS Garden Hyde Hall
Rettendon, nr Chelmsford, Essex CM3 8ET
There’s something to see all year round at the enormous Hyde Hall gardens. There’s a couple of cafes, a shop, and they have regular events there for both adults and children.more details
Hylands House Gardens
London Road, Chelmsford, CM2 8WQ
In addition to the beautifully restored house dating from 1730, there are 574 acres of parkland, ponds and gardens. We haven’t seen it in it’s summer glory, but loved the carved totem pole! more details
Hall Lane, Ingatestone, CM4 9NR
There is a walled garden with a pond, a large lake, arboretum and tree-lined walkway – a lovely green contrast to the dark interior of the hall! Watch out for their special events, or take a couple of hours on a quiet open day to view the house and gardens. more details
Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum
Marks Hall, Coggeshall, Essex CO6 1TG
The Gardens and Arboretum …feature landscaped woodland walks and footpaths, with vistas across the lakes to the Millennium Walk and the 18th Century Walled Garden, recently remodelled to provide a stunning combination of contemporary and traditional landscaping and planting. more details
Paycockes House gardens
25 West Street, Coggeshall, CO6 1NS
The gardens are being renovated by volunteers and they are doing a marvellous job, getting the gardens to be a worthy complement to the amazing building.
Saling Hall Gardens
Saling Hall, Great Saling, CM7 5DT
Currently undergoing refurbishment, and not open to the public. more details
Spencers the Garden
Great Yeldham, CO9 4JG
“Spencers is a very traditional, mid-Georgian country house. Its lovely gardens, woods and parkland are open for a variety of public events – concerts, garden visits and wildlife days.” Limited opening in recent years – but they are open through the Invitation to View scheme.
Ulting Wick Garden
Ulting Wick, Crouchman’s Farm Road, Ulting, Maldon, Essex CM9 6QX
11 acres redesigned, extended and developed over the past 15 years by Philippa and Bryan Burrough, centered around three listed black Essex barns and a 17th century farmhouse.