For many, the Gardens at Doddington are just as spectacular as the Hall itself. Remaining faithful to the original Elizabethan layout, mellow walls provide the framework for the formal East Front and West Gardens. Beyond the West Gardens begin the lovingly restored Wild Gardens.
Over the generations, most recently by Antony and Victoria Jarvis and Claire and James Birch, the gardens at Doddington have been restored, cared for, nurtured and developed to their fullest potential.
The point at which the dramatic nature of the architecture of the Hall becomes apparent. A regular pattern of box edging and topiary follows the outer original Elizabethan walls, leaving the central view of the Hall from the Gatehouse uninterrupted. Standing guard in the forecourt are four topiary unicorns, representing the Jarvis family crest.
Reorganised in 1900 with the help of experts from Kew, the West Garden is a riot of colour from April through to September. Wide borders filled with botanical surprises such as the naturalised Crown Imperials, elegant Edwardian Daffodils and a Handkerchief Tree frame a tapestry of box-edged parterres bursting with glorious Bearded Irises in late May/early June.
A spectacular pageant of spring bulbs begins in February with swathes of snowdrops, winter aconites, Crocus tommasinianus and Cyclamen coum. The pageant continues through March and early April with drifts of Lent Lilies and our unique collection of heritage daffodils, dog’s tooth pagoda and snakehead fritillaries, ending with pheasant’s eye narcissus flowering right through until May when our famous irises steal the show in the West Garden.
There are also winter-flowering and scented shrubs, Rhododendrons and an underlying structure is given by topiary and some wonderful trees – the ancient, contorted Sweet Chestnuts that overlook the croquet lawn are still productive.
Meandering paths lead you to our Temple of the Winds built by Antony Jarvis in memory of his parents, a turf maze that he made in the 1980s, and if you look hard you may find the ‘dinosaur’s egg’ (a large boulder that he put in the branches of a field maple tree to surprise the grandchildren).