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Please check with garden owners or their website to confirm current dates open
1st & 3rd Sunday of every month Apr - Sept inclusive; 2pm - 5pm.
Longstock Park Nursery: All year; Mon - Sat; 9.00am - 5.30pm; Sun ; 10am - 4pm.
Book four weeks in advance, To make a booking please call 01264 810904. Group Refreshments can be arranged at Leckford Farm-shop/Cafe by appointment only. 01264 810270
3rd Sunday in June
May - June July - August
Azaleas, rhododendrons Water lilies
PUBLIC OPENING Adult £6; Child (under 16) £2. There is a minimum charge of £85 per group for a weekday group visit, contact garden for current charge per person.
Guide dogs only. Teas at Leckford Farm-shop cafe only
Buddleja and Clematis Viticella at the Longstock Park nursery site.
Three Cups, Stockbridge
Peat Spade, Longstock Game Larder, Stockbridge Mayfly, Testcombe
Peat Spade, Longstock Mayfly, Testcombe White Hart, Stockbridge
The River Test, flowing nearby, feeds this exquisite seven acre water garden. The winding paths and little bridges taking the visitor from island to island, reveal wonderful collections of water irises, lilies, astilbes, primulas and many other water-loving plants. The walled garden at the nursery features herbaceous borders, a Fruit pergola and the collection of clematis viticella. There is also a 60 acre arboretum. On request, the National Collection of buddleias with over 100 varieties may be visited.
The main lake came into being by accident. In 1870, Alfred and Arthur East, the owners of Longstock House, dredged gravel from the banks of the River Test in order to build a private road to the property, creating the lake in the process.
When the Easts sold the Longstock Estate in 1914, Reginald Beddington, the son of the new owner, decided to make an aesthetic feature of the water. In the 1920's, it was channelled into a central canal flanked by two small lakes and the margins were planted with perennial beds.
The water garden you see now, however, was only created after John Spedan Lewis acquired the estate in 1946. With the help of botanist Terry Jones, whose keen eye for colour was invaluable when it came to selecting inspired combinations of plants, Spedan Lewis began an ambitious plan of redevelopment. He trebled the garden in size, adding a wealth of detail to the main lake with promontories, islands and bridges. The water-logged soil meant all the work had to be done by hand, and it was ten long years before the project was completed.
Longstock's first head water gardener, Jim Saunders - originally Spedan Lewis's butler - organised the digging and the garden remained under his stewardship until his retirement in 1983. Today there is still a strong sense of continuity: despite some damage caused by the storms of 1987 and 1990, much of Spedan Lewis's original concept remains unchanged.