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Neston Road, Ness,
Cheshire, CH64 4AY

0151 3530123

0151 3531004

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Opening Days and Hours
Dates/days/times open:

NOTE for 2015: Please check with garden owners or their website to confirm current dates open Open 1 February - 31 October 10am - 5pm. 1st Nov - 31 January Please visit our website for more details.

Parties/Coaches: Yes
Group Appointment: Yes


House Open for Viewing: No
National Garden Scheme days: No
Best Times of Year to Visit:

Spring / early Summer.

To see:

Rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias.

Admission Prices

1 February - 31 October 2013
Adult £6.50; Concessions £5.50; Children (5-18yrs) £3.00;
Children (under 5 yrs) FREE; Family ticket (2 adults + 3 children) £18.00;
Carers (including wheelchair pushers) FREE.

Onsite Facilities
Parking: Yes
Shop: Yes
Teas: Yes
Dogs Allowed: No
Lavatories: Yes
Plants for Sale: Yes
Refreshment: Yes
On Lead only: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Lunches: Yes
Picnics: Yes
Special Events: Yes
Other Facilities & Comments:

Free parking. Inside the Visitor Centre are the new Garden Kitchen cafe, a theatre, plant sales and our completely re-designed and re-stocked gift shop

Garden Features & Events

Over 100 years ago wealthy philanthropist Arthur Kilpin Bulley opened his beautiful garden to his neighbours. Today that welcome is as warm as ever, and his Gardens are even more beautiful...

The Botanic Gardens have a world-famous history, linked to the Victorian plant-hunters and the rare seeds business which grew from their discoveries. For dedicated plant-lovers, there are the National Collections of Sorbus and Betula, including specimens of such rarity that only a handful are known to exist in the wild.

BBC Radio 4 Gardeners' Question Time Saturday 7 September 2013

After the brilliant triumph of last year, Ness Gardens is delighted to welcome back the BBC Radio 4 Gardener's Question Time Summer Garden Party! It was Radio 4's biggest outdoor audience event which last year brought 2,000 guests to Ness. This year we are hoping for an even bigger turn out and would like to invite you to come and join in with the fun!

Even if you are not hugely into the radio show you will love what we have on offer. Expect to see big names including Bob Flowerdew, Eric Robson, Matthew Biggs and Pippa Greenwood and welcome new faces such as James Wong. Both our own Ness expert gardeners and those from GQT will also be on hand to provide demonstrations and give personal advice on your gardening dilemmas. Come and see cookery demonstrations from Claire Lara, Masterchef winner 2010, Anju Chandna, North Indian culinary specialist, Yasmin Limbert of BBC Great British Bake Off fame and Malcolm Williams, local artisan baker; all will be using produce grown by us at Ness this year. Here they are pictured with Rachael Saunders, our gardener who is going to make it all happen for them!

The popular Plant Hunters' Fair and related stalls will also grace our lawns so you can get going straight away with your newly acquired knowledge on what to grow in your garden and our own trusty team of volunteers will be giving guided Garden tours once again.

This unmissable event is on Saturday 7th September 2013 from 10am-6pm. Tickets are priced at £8.50pp (no concessions) and are available now at Ness Gardens, by phone - 0845 030 4063 at local rate - or via the Ness website (

For all other events/outdoor theatre please visit our website

English Heritage/Visit Scotland Garden Grade:
National Collection:


Nearby Cambridgeshire Hotels, Facilities & Amenities

Hotels & Accommodation:

Craxton Wood, Puddington Ship Hotel, Parkgate Burton Manor Hotel, Burton

Inns & Pubs:

Wheatsheaf, Ness Fox & Hounds, Barnston

Villages / Towns / Sightseeing:


Description of Garden

The conservatory, with its Acacias and group of Echium pininana, is closed temporarily but the visitor reaches the Rhododendron border and the historically important specimen lawn which contains Magnolia, Sorbus and Pieris formosa Forrestii from the golden age of plant collecting. The glasshouses are divided into temperate and arid zones with displays of orchids, amongst others. The herb garden, azalea border and herbaceous area are not to be missed and there is a heather garden, rock garden, woodland garden, water garden and arboretum. Finally at the perimeter of the garden is the willow collection. The visitor also encounters the Jubilee Garden which was completed in 1977. A new garden entrance and visitor centre is under construction.

History Of Garden

Arthur Kilpin Bulley, a Liverpool seed merchant, began to create the garden in 1898. He was interested in introducing new plant species from abroad and believed that Himalayan and Chinese mountain plants could be established in Britain. He tested this by sponsoring many expeditions to the Far East and thereby launched the careers of renowned plant collectors such as George Forrest and Frank Kingdon Ward. Some of his rhododendron and camellia introductions were widely used for hybridisation and this together with his propagation programme resulting in his company, Bees Ltd, offering newly introduced species to the public from 1911 on, had important repercussions for British gardening.

Arthur Bulley died in 1942 and his daughter, Lois, presented the gardens three years later to Liverpool University, with a generous endowment of £75,00 on condition they be kept as botanic gardens. Ken Hulme became Director in 1957 and, envisaging a more naturalised setting for the plants than had interested Bulley, he removed the hedges compartmentalising the garden, increased the area of the gardens from 6 to 64 acres and created superb collections of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and heathers.

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