Loseley Park – a Hidden Gem

Situated approximately 30 miles south-west of  London, Loseley Park is a 1400 acre estate of beautiful rolling countryside. The Manor itself dates back to the 16th century, and is a private home that has been in the same family for over 500 years. It is a popular destination for events, weddings and you may also recognize the location from several period TV productions.

Our tour group was treated to a private guided tour of the Walled Garden which covers just 2.5 acres and is divided into ‘rooms’ each with its own unique planting scheme and personality. My two favorites were the elegant White Garden and the vibrant jewel box Flower Garden.

White Garden


Billowy mounds of Annabelle hydrangeas make a strong statement around the pool in the white garden while wispy wands of Gaura balanced the bolder texture of the surrounding shrubs

I could have stayed here all day. It was a serene oasis of romantic, billowing borders, with the white hydrangeas in full bloom and an abundance of supporting flowers and foliage in silver, white, and cream, all framing a tranquil water feature.

A matrix of grasses and daisies created a romantic froth within the formal frame of evergreens and hydrangeas

Layers of gauzy perennials created a meadow-like effect punctuated by the spherical seed heads of a globe thistle (Echinops). These had finished blooming when we visited but I assume they were a white flowered form such as Star Frost to keep with the color theme of this garden.

The seed heads of a globe thistle bring a strong architectural line to the wilder plantings even after the flowers have faded.

A simple tiered fountain was the perfect centerpiece to the pond while the wide gravel perimeter provided the necessary negative space to allow every element room to breathe.

At first glance, this is a symmetrical, formal design yet by interjecting looser pockets of perennials it makes the space feel slightly more relaxed and welcoming. A staddle stone marks a pathways entrance to one side.

The symmetry could best be seen from the short end of the pool. Mounding David viburnum and vertical sentries of yew marked entrances to the inner path and gave structure to balance the overall looseness of the summer display.

Flower Garden

My favorite view in this garden – a tightly woven tapestry of tagetes forms a dense carpet beneath an elm tree, creating a framed view of the garden beyond.

By comparison this garden room was full of energy with a bold, fiery color scheme of orange, gold, and red with just enough cooling blue notes to keep it interesting. Self-seeders are edited as needed with new schemes evolving each year. The head gardener explained he rarely had a formal plan but rather brought things over from the greenhouse and designed as he planted, noting where a certain height or color was needed. Loseley grows the majority of the annuals used in the displays each year as both a cost-cutting exercise but also to allow maximum design flexibility.

Daylilies, Jersualem sage, mullein, salvia and hardy geraniums all mingle – yet are artfully edited to allow each group to shine.

It's a garden of surprises as pathways disappear around corners, destinations are obscured by rambunctious plantings and vertical yellow mullein shout a loud exclamation at intervals making the visitor stop pause briefly in their explorations.

Designing foliage first is always key to spanning the seasons. Here an elm tree, grasses and ricin help to bridge any seasonal gaps

Yet within the vibrant jewel box there is also structure. Elm trees create a calming focal point within the fiery tapestry, their canopies limbed up so one can see further into the garden. Repetition of colors and key plants brings a cohesiveness to the wildness. Finally, foliage is not forgotten, with finely textured grasses and bolder burgundy ricin (Ricin communis) linking the colorful blooms of tagetes, crocosmia, daylilies and more.

Which color scheme do you prefer?

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  1. paula jenson on September 4, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    Gorgeous photos and lovely commentary,

    • Karen Chapman on September 5, 2023 at 8:33 am

      Thanks Paula – glad you enjoyed it. Hope you're keeping well!