About the garden
The Godinton House Preservation Trust
The 12 acres of tranquil gardens at Godinton are set in ancient parkland studded with stately oaks and chestnuts. Terraced lawns bordered by yew hedging and topiaried box have been softened over the last century by the addition of long, curvy-edged herbaceous borders and ornamental tree and shrub plantings.
Wandering through the gardens along broad gravel paths or across the neatly cut lawns (there are no ‘Keep off the Grass’ signs here) the visitor will discover many surprises. The first is a classically romantic rose garden designed with a combination of shrub roses and herbaceous planting to give a voluptuous mix of summer-long flowering and wonderful scent. Following rose and clematis-edged steps, the visitor will find a large formal lily pond shaded by willow trees fed by a constantly bubbling natural spring. This in turn runs down through a wild garden with arboretum planting to an informal pond, home to an ever-increasing population of wildlife – those lucky may spot a kingfisher flashing across the water or a grass snake basking in the sun. Early in the year, this area is a mass of daffodils, fritillaries, primroses and anemones.
A favourite with many visitors is the intimate Italian Garden, its entrance lined by statues of the four continents and a wonderful Japanese Wisteria, which makes a waterfall of lavender flowers in May. Through a charming little summerhouse in the wall of the Italian garden, the visitor enters the old walled garden and a spectacular display of delphiniums growing against the mellow brick walls.
For the more energetic visitor there is a circular walk through the 18th century park and along the Stour river with wonderful views back to the house and gardens. Here an extensive tree planting programme is ensuring the future of the parkland.