Upper Bolney Estate

Upper Bolney Estate

  • Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire
    RG9 4AQ

  • 4th July 2024
  • 10:00 - 14:30
  • £120

Upper Bolney House is set in the beautiful Chiltern Hills close to Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. The owners came to the property in 2010 and soon commenced a series of garden design projects that continue to the present day. The garden provides impressive year-round interest – a spring bulb meadow lasting almost three months, mixed borders and roses for summer. A wide variety of trees and shrubs bring autumn colour whilst yew topiary and formal hedging provide structure and form during winter.

A series of garden rooms and terraces surround the house. To the front, box topiary, lavender, climbing roses and hydrangea greet visitors. Further on, a croquet lawn is enclosed within yew hedging. An arbour supports clematis and roses whilst the borders around the house are planted with grasses, crocosmia, rudbeckia and euphorbia.

The middle terrace flanked by stone urns descends between herbaceous borders to the main formal lawn. The lawn is framed by large island beds, each with its own character. One is dominated by a variety of conifers in combination with other shrubs, whilst another contains only rhododendrons and camellias in a range of vibrant colours.

The pool terrace with mixed borders, gnarled olive trees and wisterias leads to the rose garden complete with ha-ha, beyond which is the parkland. Throughout early summer, David Austin roses fill the beds with colour and scent. In the centre of the garden is an armillary sundial.

Mown pathways meander through the parkland. One leads to the Family Garden. Now in its fourth season, this area, with its different levels, beds and stone pathways, is a blend of vastly differing themes. Surrounding the Breeze House is a planting style reminiscent of a cottage garden, whilst towering sunflowers point to Poland. Below the decked area, plants such as banana, canna and Phoenix palm hint at the tropics. A fernery with hostas, tree ferns, upturned stumps and logs complete this unique garden area.

Adjoining this garden is the site of the current project. A South African garden is in the design stage. Site clearance and landscaping are planned for 2023 with the first stage of planting due for completion early in 2024.

A small glasshouse enables propagation of seeds and cuttings and a plentiful supply of delicious tomatoes throughout the summer. Nearby is the kitchen garden with raised vegetable beds, fruit cages, soft fruit and an orchard of interesting varieties of apples and pears. A cutting bed provides fresh flowers for the house such as cosmos, dwarf sunflowers and scented pinks. Flowers for drying are also grown.

Guided tour with lunch.

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