Guide to Open Gardens and Garden Festivals

Gardens are looking their absolute finest in the summer, especially in June when the flowers are at their best and the soft fruits are ripe enough to pick. Here is a round up of the open gardens and garden festival on the Isle of Wight this June (2018).

June 3rd

Meadowsweet, Carisbrooke was transformed from windswept, barren two acre cattle field into a developing tranquil country garden. Natural, mainly native planting and wild flowers, there’s a cottagey front garden, herb garden, orchard, fruit cage and large pond. Open June 3rd, 2018 11.30 to 4pm, £3.50, with home-made teas in aid of the EM Hospice.

Thorley Manor, Yarmouth has delightful informal gardens of over three acres surrounding the manor house (not open). The garden set out in a number of walled rooms including a herb garden, colourful perennial and self-seeding borders, shrub borders and lawns, plus unusual island croquet lawn, seamlessly blending in to the surrounding farmland. Open June 3rd, 2018 14:00 - 17:00, £3.50, with home-made teas in aid of local charity.

June 10th

Nunwell House, Brading has five acres of beautifully set formal and shrub gardens, featuring old fashioned shrub roses. With exceptional Solent views from the terraces, there’s a small arboretum and walled garden with herbaceous borders to the rear. The house developed over five centuries and is full of architectural interest. Open June 10th, 2018 10m to 4pm, £5, home-made teas.



June 16th– Niton Gardens

Niton Gardens festival on June 16thfrom 11.30 till 4pm encompasses gardens in Ventnor undercliff, and the pretty village of Niton, with a varied selection that differ in both size and style, full of colour, fragrance and interest. From cottage and country gardens to vegetable plots and havens for wildlife, the gardens in this group are: Kings Manor Farm, Tillington Villa, Spring Cottage, Winfrith, Talsa, Southcliff, 8 Glen Approach, Yaffles. Entrance to all gardens is £5.

Kings Manor Farm in Niton has a cottage garden surrounding the C17 stone thatched manor house (not open). Lawn, patio, kitchen garden, sloping borders crammed with shrubs, perennials, roses and annuals.

Tillington Villa in Niton is a small garden with mixed borders, with vegetable patch, native trees and fruit trees, wildlife pond and wildlife-friendly planting. 

Spring Cottage in Ventnor has a large garden with a wide variety of attractions, lawns, trees and shrubs, a pond and garden ornaments, plus a vegetable plot with polytunnel.

Winfrith in Ventnor has a sizable garden with a variety of features, including a small orchard and vegetable garden, pond and sitting areas and borders of trees shrubs and herbaceous plantings. 

Talsa in Ventnor is a secluded village garden with views to Downs with sub-tropical plants, palms, bamboos and tree ferns, various seating areas and small ponds with water lilies and fish.

Southcliff in Ventnor is a south facing garden, close to St Catherine’s lighthouse, with views to the sea. Extending along the south side of the house and into the fields below, there is a south facing mixed border 100ft long, planted in swathes of colour for all year round interest, a courtyard garden, a Mediterranean inspired garden with olives, oleander and plumbago, and fruit and vegetable gardens.

8 Glen Approach in Ventnor is a  new garden created in the last two years, consisting of well stocked borders of roses, perennials and shrubs, posts erected with swags for roses to ramble through.

Yaffles in Ventnor is a south facing bungalow with grass lawns with herbaceous borders, an attractive rose arbour, productive vegetable area, several raised beds, greenhouse and potting shed.



June 23rdand 24th

Ashknowle House in Ventnor has woodland walks, fishponds, colourful beds and borders, a large well maintained kitchen garden with fruit and vegetable cages, tunnels, glasshouses and raised beds. It has a young productive orchard including protected cropping of strawberries, peaches and apricots and there’s a display and DVD of red squirrel antics. Open 12.30pm till 4.30pm there are home made teas and entrance is £4.

June 24th

Lansdown in Sandown has a south facing garden within an exposed, sloping three acre plot with sandy soil and a wonderful 180 degree view of the sea. There’s a terrace, formal garden with pond, vines, fernery, large organic vegetable plot, a souvenir garden set within the remains of an old glasshouse, mown paths though natural meadow and a pond for wildlife, beds and borders. And two pet alpacas. Open June 24thfrom 11.30 till 4.30pm, home made teas and entrance is £4.

June 30th

Carpe Diem in Ryde is a ¼ acre garden that has evolved over 14 yrs, run on organic principles, for the benefit of both the gardeners and nature. It is divided into separate areas including a vegetable plot, woodland areas, ponds, herb plantings, grass border and herbaceous borders. Open June 30thfrom 10.30 till 4pm , with home-made teas, admission is £3.50.


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1 June 2018

By Jo Macaulay in Articles