11 May 2014

An assembly of attractive gardens at Warren House

It had been quite a while since I had visited Warren House (September 2008 to be precise) and I got the chance to go back when they opened the gardens as part of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) on the same day as the nearby Watergardens.

Warren House is now a dining, conference and wedding venue and so the gardens are pretty and varied to provide the opportunity for memorable photographs.

The house is also quite charming but I was there for the gardens and that is what I took lots of pictures of.

The front of the house has the entrance drive and car parking so the gardens are behind and to the sides and are hidden behind brick walls as you approach. It is only when you walk through and then out of the house that you see them.

A small formal garden sits on the right side of the house next to the corporate play area of the croquet lawn which forms the bulk of this part of the garden.

There are some small ponds with fish set in to the flower beds here but they are covered in netting to deter the herons so are not very photogenic.

Immediately behind the house and next to the main dining areas is a large paved terrace and next to that is a slightly sunken garden with four paved paths leading to an octagonal pond with a simple classic fountain.

Beyond that, and at the far end of the back garden, is a proper sunken garden that is only discovered when you approach the wall above it.

This is a fairly wild garden compared to the formality above with trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers planted close together so that a visitor is almost engulfed in plants. A circular path leads through the greenery and past a gentle water feature.

On the left side of the house is an orchard approached through a narrow gate so it to is hidden too and requires some effort to find. The effort is worth it.

The orchard is surrounded by brick with a brick wall on two sides and brick buildings on the other two sides. That provides a warm backdrop to the trees and a reassuring comfort to the visitor. This is a peaceful and a pretty place.

The very front of the house may be given over to the car but just to each side there are small gardens. To the right there is a little courtyard that was thick with Wisteria and to the left, in front of one of the extensions, is a jumble of exotic plants.

The gardens at Warren House are small and never stray very far from the house but what they lack in size they more than make up for in variety, beauty and upkeep. They are ideal for taking a gentle stroll trough before returning to the terrace for a cup of tea.

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