The diversity of planting at Benington Lordship offers visitors something to see all year round.
The season begins with the flowering of snowdrops and hellebores in February. The snowdrops have naturalized around the moat and castle ruin and a snowdrop walk was planted along the old inner bailey in the early twentieth century.
The formal rose garden was replanted in 2016 with four weeping pear trees (Pyrus Salicifolia) underplanted with Rosa Kent and tulips and enclosed by box hedging. The wilderness bank behind the formal area is now planted with a wealth of spring bulbs, linking the area to the snowdrop walk beyond.
The long, double herbaceous borders run downhill from east to west, framed by a wall on one side and yew hedge on the other. They are an unsophisticated mix of old fashioned plants including favourites such as lupins, delphiniums, achilleas, asters, clematis and geraniums, and change constantly from May to September.
The walled kitchen garden has raised beds which have replaced large open plots to make working on the heavy clay soil easier in winter. Vegetables are grown throughout the year, and the mature shrub beds are home to a growing collection of named snowdrop varieties.
The garden features three spring fed pools which feed into two ponds. The larger pond has been restored as a carp pond – probably its original purpose at the time the Norman keep was built. The lower pond was fenced in 1996 and is a haven for birds and dragonflies.
Much of the garden is managed with wildlife in mind and many of the banks are planted with spring bulbs or wild flowers such as cowslips and primroses. The grass is left long in these areas to enable insects to flourish and the bulb foliage to die back naturally. The mature apple trees in the orchard are also important for wildlife, particularly the birds that feed on insects during the summer and the windfalls in autumn.
EVENTS DIARY 2019
Please note the gardens are not open on a regular weekly basis and there is no public access to the grounds outside the advertised hours.
Our tea room is only open Monday to Saturday in February when we serve hot soup, cream teas, tea, coffee and cakes. On all other openings, refreshments are available in the parish hall in aid of St Peter’s church or village groups. For pre-booked parties outside normal opening times, tea/coffee can be arranged when making a booking.
To arrange a group visit please contact us via our enquiry form.