About the garden
Michael & Gail Werkmeister
The iconic cottage garden at East Lambrook Manor is the creation of celebrated 20th-century plantswoman and gardening writer Margery Fish. Here she developed her own unselfconscious approach to gardening, combining both contemporary and old-fashioned plants in a relaxed and informal manner to create a garden of great beauty and charm.
Now Grade-1 listed, this plantsman’s paradise is recognised as the premier example of the English cottage garden style. Winding paths between abundantly planted beds and borders, often edged with the local hamstone, typify the garden. It is divided into different areas such as the Terrace Garden with its double line of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Fletcheri’ that Mrs Fish called her ‘Pudding Trees’ and the Silver Garden, home to silver leaved plants and Mediterranean type planting.
The Lido and Ditch Gardens are damp areas that, along with the Wooded Helleborus Garden, contain most of the garden’s extensive collection of snowdrops. The garden also has collections of hellebores, mainly Helleborus x hybridus, and geraniums. A special raised display bed allows named snowdrops in February and geraniums in summer to be seen at close quarters.
Margery Fish came to gardening in her mid-forties after a career as a secretary to Lord Northcliffe, founder of the Daily Mail. She married Walter Fish, editor of the paper, in 1933 and in 1937 they bought East Lambrook Manor, then a dilapidated medieval hall house and derelict farm. She had never gardened before but it soon became her passion. East Lambrook became famous through her articles for magazines such as Amateur Gardening and through her many books about the garden. Her first, We Made a Garden, published in 1956, has encouraged generations of budding gardeners.
The Margery Fish Plant Nursery stocks cottage garden plants and interesting perennials with many of the plants propagated from plants in the garden.
Please note: this garden is partially accessible.