About the garden
Duke and Duchess of Bedford
The 28 acres of award-winning gardens are Repton’s most realised landscape and were considered by Repton to be one of his finest achievements. In 2018 the gardens will be playing a pivotal role in the celebrations to mark Repton’s Bicentenary. Woburn Abbey is fortunate to have in its archives the Red Book containing the original watercolour landscape designs Repton created for Woburn. Recently restored highlights include Chinoiserie-style Pavilion on the Rockery, sensory Children’s Garden complete with folly, Cone House, Camellia House and Hornbeam Maze, complete with Chinese Pagoda at its centre.
Another key feature is the Chinese Dairy, designed by Henry Holland in Chinoiserie style in 1787 for Francis, 5th Duke of Bedford and the only structure of its kind in the UK. Trees native to China continue the theme from the Dairy into the Garden. Don’t miss The Long Borders: overflowing herbaceous beds which are ‘the fireworks of the garden’, constantly erupting as flowers bloom in succession duringthe year. Tastefully planted with flowers chosen by the Duchess of Bedford, the planting scheme changes colour from late-spring onwards. At this time of year masses of spring bulbs may also be found throughout the garden, including drifts of daffodils. The eye-catching Erica parterre also looks particularly stunning in spring.
These features are followed by the flowers in the Long Borders exploding as foxtail lilies, agapanthus, climbing and rambling roses along with many other herbaceous plants put on a dazzling display. In late summer and into autumn the Bog Garden steals the show, along with fiery autumnal acers. Various follies and an interesting collection of mature trees along with blazing dogwoods and clumps of white birch provide winter structure and interest.