Gorgeous Hertfordshire gardens to explore this summer

 The Sunken garden at Chenies Manor House 

The Sunken garden at Chenies Manor House - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

Benington Lordship
A seven-acre garden in Benington village with historic buildings, rose garden, walled kitchen garden and lakes. Spectacular herbaceous borders and unspoilt panoramic views over surrounding parkland and countryside. Open May 30-31, 11am-3pm, June 26-27, 11am-4pm for NGS. Chilli Festival on August Bank Holiday, 10am-5pm. 

Chenies Manor Garden
Gardens near Chorleywood influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement including a Tudor-style sunken garden, a white garden, Victorian kitchen garden and mazes. Lots of colour throughout the summer with roses, cottage garden plants and dahlias. 
Open Monday and Tuesday 2-5pm to the end of October. 

Fountain and stately home from The West Garden at Hatfield House

The West Garden at Hatfield House - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

Hatfield House
Enjoy the peace of the West Garden at the stunning stately home with its scented garden, fountains, and longitude dial, and view the knot garden near the Elizabethan Old Palace. The East Garden is more formally planted with a parterre, topiary, herbaceous borders and vegetable garden. West Garden open Thursday to Sunday, East Garden Thursdays in season. both 10.30am-5pm. 

Knebworth House
Formal gardens, a maze, colourful borders, interesting trees and a wilderness area in these 28-acre gardens at the stately home. The layout dates largely from the Edwardian era when architect Sir Edwin Lutyens simplified the Victorian garden with lawns and avenues of pollarded lime trees. Gertrude Jekyll’s 1907 herb garden design was recreated in 1982. See website for opening times. 

Myddelton House Gardens
A botanical eight-acre garden at Bulls Cross, home of renowned plantsman E A Bowles, with rare and unusual plants. Bountiful borders, kitchen garden, pond terrace and rock garden. There are artefacts of local and national interest including part of Old London Bridge and the Enfield Market Cross. Open Wednesday – Sunday 10am–4pm. 

View across lake to temple by William Chambers

View across the lake to a temple by William Chambers at St Paul's Walden Bury - Credit: MMGI/Marianne Majerus

St Paul’s Walden Bury
A spectacular formal woodland garden laid out in 1720 in a hamlet near Hitchin. Long rides lined with clipped beech hedges lead to temples, statues, lake and a terraced theatre. Seasonal displays of irises, magnolias, rhododendrons and lilies. This was the childhood home of the Queen Mother. Open Wednesdays and Fridays 2-7pm.

Enjoy historic public garden spaces in Hertfordshire for free.

Tree lined avenue in Cassiobury Park, Watford

Tree lined avenue in Cassiobury Park, Watford - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

Cassiobury Park & Whippendel Woods 
Recently restored gem in Watford with mostly Victorian design but with 16th century origins. 

Cedars Park
Former location of Theobalds Palace, a favourite of James I, the park and gardens in Cheshunt were given to the public just over a century ago. 

Bushey Rose Garden
Arts and Crafts garden for lovers of roses (who isn't?). 

Hemel Water Gardens
Restored 20th century Jellicoe designed water garden.

Pishiobury Park
Sawbridgeworth 18th-century park redesigned by Lancelot Brown.

Shenley Walled Garden
Charming Victorian walled garden in Shenley Park.

A long-running charitable project, currently most gardens opening for the National Garden Scheme require booking online. The NGS has found this to be very popular and because many of the gardens are restricting the number of visitors, it's an excellent opportunity to see them without crowds. 

4 Ormonde Road
Beautifully planted frontage entices visitors to a large rear garden at this Northwood home. A calm oasis enclosed by mature hedging including rhododendrons, peonies, magnolias, a new lily pond and many acers. Much interest throughout the whole garden due to successional planting. June 6 and September 12, 2-5pm. 

Pretty planting around the White Cottage

Pretty planting around the White Cottage, Wheathampstead - Credit: Piers Photography

St Stephens Avenue Gardens
Two St Albans gardens of similar size, developed in totally different ways. Dense planting at number 20 makes it impossible to see from one end to the other, and paths meander through and behind colour coordinated borders. Number 30 has a southwest facing gravelled front garden with a Mediterranean feel. Clipped box, beech and hornbeam in the back garden provide a cool backdrop for the strong colours of the herbaceous planting. June 27 and September 5, both 2.30-5.30pm.

Designer Tom Stuart-Smith's Serge Hill gardens at Bedmond

Designer Tom Stuart-Smith's Serge Hill gardens at Bedmond - Credit: Philippa Pearson

12 Longmans Close
Dazzling colour, scent, lush tropical foliage, trickling water and clever use of pots are used in this densely planted small tropical garden in Watford. Stately bananas and canna rub shoulders with delicate lily and roses amongst a large variety of begonia, hibiscus, ferns and houseplants. July 25, August 1, 2-6pm

35 Digswell Road
Town garden in Welwyn Garden City with naturalistic planting inspired by Dutch garden designer, Piet Oudolf. Perennial borders and a small meadow packed with herbaceous plants and grasses. Contemporary planting gives way to an exotic lush jungle garden with bamboos, bananas, palms and tree ferns. July 25,  2-5.30pm and October 17, 1-4pm. 

44 Broadwater Avenue
In the Letchworth Garden City conservation area this successfully combines a family garden with a plantswoman's garden with unusual herbaceous plants and shrubs. Topiary underpins the whole garden. Attractive front garden designed for year-round interest. July 30, 6-9pm, August 1, 1-5pm. 

A well designed plantswoman's garden in Letchworth. A silver birch grove, a 'dribble of stones', a rill, contemporary knot garden, and dry planted area. Plus an abundance of roses, perennials, grasses and dahlias. A greenhouse for over wintering and a glass house with tender plants. August 15, 11am-5pm.

Reveley Lodge
Large garden in Bushey Heath surrounding a Victorian house bequeathed to Bushey Museum. Includes a rose garden, medicinal bed, shrubs, perennials, and a woodland walk. There’s a restored vegetable garden and a conservatory, greenhouse, beehives and an analemmatic sundial believed unique to Hertfordshire. Live jazz at the opening. August 22, 2-6pm.