The gardens at Deene Park like the house, have undergone many changes over the centuries, but have never looked better than they do today. The formal gardens on the south side of this beautiful historic house give way to a vista of parkland and lakes linked by a canal; at its narrowest junction the canal is spanned by a fine stone bridge reminiscent of pictures in fairy tale books. Interested visitors can find the information on the history and development of the gardens in the Summer House. Today the garden is managed by a team of two gardeners, headed up by Andrew Jones who has been caring for and developing the gardens since 2001, you can follow Andrew’s seasonal tips for a perfect garden in his regular Garden Blog. A spectacular feature of the garden is the display of snowdrops during late winter/early spring Snowdrop Sundays.
Spring is particularly stunning, the collection of named snowdrops and acres of wild snowdrops that surround the formal gardens are sensational in early spring, while later in the season the canal, north drive and woodland walk are carpeted with Daffodils heralding the advent of summer.
The walls of the central courtyard, some of which date back to Tudor times are alive during the summer with Jasmine and scented roses, while the four stone urns in permanent situ are planted with Pelargoniums, Margaritas and Verbena.
The red brick walls of the old kitchen gardens are the oldest feature of the gardens having been built in the early 18th century. Although no longer used to raise fruit and vegetables, its outer wall provides the backdrop for the long-mixed borders filled with scented Philadelphus, roses and other shrubs; masses of herbaceous plants and spring bulbs. The walls themselves are clothed with climbing roses to show them off beautifully.
The long borders are separated by a circular hedged garden dedicated to the four seasons statues contained within, the focal point in this garden is a large, central, stone urn planted with tender perennials for summer. At the far end of the long borders is the stone summerhouse built by the 7th Earl of Cardigan, who together with his wife Adeline, used the building to entertain their respective friends.
The most striking feature of the gardens at Deene Park is the box hedge parterre designed by David Hicks and planted out in the early 1990’s. The planting consists of clipped lavender, perennials such as Geraniums, Salvias, Iris, Nepeta, and spring bulbs including Hyacinths & Tulips.
A quirky feature of the Parterre, and not in the original design, are four topiary teapots. Why teapots? Because tea was the late Edmund Brudenell’s favourite drink.
Our guide was Andrew the Head Gardener who is to be congratulated for his depth of knowledge about the origins of the gardens. He had studied the original records of the early days of the Brudenell/Cardigan family and produced a very interesting talk and tour. His passion and vision for the garden is refreshing and has produced a wonderful collection of “Cottage Garden” plants that flourish through the seasons with the encouragement of Mrs Brudenell. The Estate now has a lovely wooden framed shop selling plants and memorabilia pertaining to Deene Park. I’d love some of his Cottage Garden seeds! Very enjoyable couple of hours and the sun shone which is a bonus. Highly recommend.
I visited today 29th June as part of the Boughton House group. Absolutely bowled over by this lovely warm house, its antecedents and history. Above all it felt like a home. Very privileged to be shown the Church especially by Charlotte Brudenell. I can’t praise the family enough for managing the complex preservation issues, but most of all for preserving this magical place for us all. Special thanks for making time for us, your pride in your ancestors is well founded.
Boughton Monuments Guides
Just to say a very big thank you to you for your patience and help, given that we were almost an hour late for our tour. We all thought the house and grounds were absolutely delightful and the historical talk you gave was pleasant, amusing and enjoyable. Thank you so much, once again, we all felt very privileged to have been able to not only visit Deene Park, but have had the exclusivity of a private viewing.
Offley Car Club10th May 2018
On behalf of the Fuchsia friendship travel club, I should like to thank you and all your team for the wonderful reception we received and care and attention during our visit. The ladies doing the food were so friendly and caring going out of their way to satisfy our needs! The tour guides in the house had a wealth of information, sometimes too much to take in, there was so much history to absorb about the family. Even the gardeners were giving us tips on growing their plants. Thank you for making our visit so enjoyable.
Barbara Barker19th June 2018
We had a terrific time at Deene Park. Please pass on our thanks firstly to the owners, but also to everyone else who contributed to such a delightful afternoon. We know it takes an awful lot of work by unseen staff, as well as those we met, in order for these events to be successful. We were made very welcome by the lady on the gate and had a fascinating insight into Deene Park’s history by our tour guide. The gardeners too are to be commended for the outstanding plants, inside the house and grounds. All in all, a splendid house, in a fabulous setting. What better way to spend a summer afternoon. We certainly hope to visit again.
Averil & Lloyd FaireyAugust 2015
Just a brief note to let you know how much our Reiki Alliance group enjoyed the visit to Deene Park.
There were many comments about how lovely the house, gardens and grounds were and how friendly and helpful the staff were. The overseas members of our group who met and spoke with the Brudenell family were most impressed and delighted that they were so approachable – something that would never happen in their home country.
The cream tea was enjoyed by all and most wished the visit could have lasted longer. Many thanks for your help in organising our visit.
Reiki Alliance26th May 2019
Thanks once again for arranging our visit and house tour – your guide was excellent and we all found the tour most interesting. The gardens were lovely, only marred by the wet weather, but I am sure many of us will want to see them again when the sun is shining. Please also thank the catering staff for the welcome refreshments and lunch.
Buckingham U3A Architecture Group25th June 2019
Thank you very much for all your organisation. The arrangements worked well. The volunteer guides are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, in fact everyone was most welcoming. Please pass on to all the staff our grateful thanks for all their help and effort in making our day such an interesting and pleasant experience.
Cambridge District Pensioners’ Club18th June 2019
Just to say thank you for arranging our visit to Deene Park, which was much appreciated by our group. Also thank you to Mrs Brudenell for greeting us so warmly – it is certainly a lovely house to live in. There is so much potential for the gardens, which are being well tended by Andrew.
Historic Roses Group20th June 2018
Despite the weather we had a wonderful day with you all and everything worked out so well – the welcome was so warm and your staff in the kitchen were spot on! Presentation of food was excellent and I felt the prices were most acceptable! Wendy, the guide was quite wonderful and I hope she realised how much we enjoyed the tour – everybody paid full attention. We were lucky enough to have a window of dry after lunch and were able to get around the grounds and also bought plants! We even had a “Gardener’s Question Time” with the Head Gardener, who was patient and knew everything we asked! All in all despite the weather we had a really good day. Thank you again.
JanetWednesday 18th May 2016
I pass on our great thanks from all the folks who came from St. Michael’s and St. Mary’s, Woodkirk for a really wonderful visit. The weather was very kind so we were able to enjoy the lovely gardens and both guides were very informative and friendly and everybody enjoyed their lunch and endless pieces of cake. The house look superb and the extra displays covering 500 years of the Brudenells life at Deene Park were really informative and helpful. For my wife Angela and myself it brought back memories of visiting Deene Park literally ten years ago to the day to be interviewed by Edmund and Marian for the post here at East Ardsley – happy memories and also of the butler at the time who I understand has also died. Please do pass on our thanks to the team and all who helped make our visit very special.
Glenn CogginsVicar at St. Michael’s East Ardsley
Many thanks, once again, for ensuring that we had such a great day at Deene Park. We managed to dodge most of the showers – indeed from the photos, you wouldn’t think we had any rain at all today!
Please thank Sue on the gate and everyone in the House and Tea Room who made us all so welcome. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting the house and its beautiful gardens which were looking wonderful today. The history of the Brudenell family is amazing and so well presented. You felt more a house guest than a visitor and the guides did a great job in bringing everything to life.
Riley Register16th June 2019
We all thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Deene Park today. Please thank your guides for making our tour around the many rooms and the information they shared with us so interesting. The cups of tea and choice of cake gave us the energy to walk round and explore the magnificent gardens and admire the long borders and topiary. We were fortunate to have fine weather and the butterflies, bees and dragonflies were a bonus.
Oundle Historical Society