About the garden
Julia and David Bridger
New for 2022: Keyneston Mill is a private botanic garden dedicated solely to aromatic and scented plants, with more than 1,500 varieties in a 50-acre estate. The creative and experimental home of Parterre Fragrances, it is here that the key ingredients for their luxury perfumes are grown, harvested and distilled. The gardens blend visual arts with perfumery and each of the Collection Gardens represents a different fragrance family. Visitors are encouraged to rub leaves, absorb the scents and discover some of the many unusual varieties grown here for perfume use.
The Padua Garden, floral and sweet scented, is a riot of colour and scent in the summer months, with irises, narcissi and tulips, followed by peonies, roses, jasmine and pelargoniums, amid drifts of hyssop, gaura and ornamental grasses. The design is modelled on the original 16th-century Venetian botanic garden in Padua. The Spice Garden, a striking design inspired by the paintings of Kandinsky, is all about oriental fragrances and those plants that provide a spicy element, such as fennels, coriander, pink and Japanese pepper, nasturtiums, bay and shisho.
For cool vegetation, head to the Fougère Garden with its three contemporary corten steel ponds. This sunken garden is dedicated to ferns, aromatic herbs and sub-tropical planting and represents masculine, green fragrances. Visitors can also enjoy the fascinating Citrus Collection, wander among the perfume crop fields and explore the natural areas of the estate that include the River Meadow and the Lost Orchard. The Distillery can be viewed during the summer, and an exhibition explains the history of perfumery and the various processes for extracting oils from the plants. Scented garden tours and a range of botanical and perfume-related workshops and events run regularly. There is also a bistro, perfume and gift shop and plant sales area.