The Garden Landscape Guide

East Lambrook Manor Garden

A small fifteenth century manor house with a twentieth century cottage garden, made by Margery Fish. It is densely planted, with low clipped hedges forming compartments for herbaceous plants. Margery Fish had a particular interest in ground cover plants wrote a number of popular books based on her experience of making this garden. The East Lambrook Manor Gardens are being restored and hold the National Collection of Geraniums. There is a specialist plant nursery, tea shop and art gallery.

Head Gardener's Comment

These famous gardens created by Margery Fish from 1938 to 1969 are regularly featured by the BBC and are internationally recognized as the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’. Margery Fish was the undisputed 'Leading Lady of Gardening' from the 1950s and it was Margery's natural gift in bringing old-fashioned and contemporary plants together that has so dramatically influenced the way we garden today and the mixed borders of the 21st century are a direct descendant of the style she created here at East Lambrook. Today the garden team continue to use old fashioned and contemporary planting and visitors can still gain invaluable inspiration while wandering the crooked stone paths through a profusion of colour and scent.

History

Margery Fish was the first of the modern gardeners to realize that following World War II, the comfortable days of the ‘paid gardener’ were doomed as labour became scarce and expensive. She realized that a less formal garden, which was less labour intensive would be required, and she saw how the cottagers’ belief that a hardy plant in the right site would, to a large extent, look after itself, may hold the answer. As a result, from the early 1950’s to her death in 1969, she became a great advocate of bringing old-fashioned and contemporary plants together - todays mixed borders are a direct descendant of the cottage garden style that she created. Mrs Fish formalized the concept of ‘Cottage Gardening’ and while gardens such as Hidcote and Sissinghurst were already using the cottage garden style, Margery’s development was unique and ground breaking simply because it was on a much more domestic scale which allowed visitors to so easily understand what she was doing and how it could relate to their own garden. As a result Margery became responsible for transforming the gardening style of a whole generation. Today the garden team continue to use old fashioned and comtemporary planting and visitors can still gain invaluable inspiration while wandering the crooked stone paths through a profusion of colour and scent.

Plants of note

Geraniums, euphorbias, helleborus, snowdrops, roses, rare and unusual cottage garden plants

East Lambrook Manor, South Petherton, Somerset, England, TA13 5HH

February to October. Tuesday to Saturday and Bank Holiday Mondays (also open Sunday and Monday in February, May, June and early July). Open 10am to 5pm.

Adult £4.50, Child under 16 Free

Visit the East Lambrook Manor Garden website

Nearby gardens

Nearby hotels

Nearby nurseries

Designers and Influences

Reviews

  • almost 4 years by Robert Jubb 5 / 5

    I have been familiar with this garden since I was a child when Marjorie Fish was still alive and I have witnessed it at various stages of decline and renewal in the last 40 years .It is at present undergoing another phase of rejuvunation and renewal . Always a place that draws us back time and time again. The garden is well worth visiting at any time of the year.In late winter snow drops are plentiful and many winter flowering shrubs.In summer many herbaceous plants in the informal cottage garden. The gardens surround a fine old Somerset manor house constructed in honey coloured Ham Stone. This garden is also very close to Montecute house, Tintinhul Manor, and Barrington Court which all have notable gardens to visit.
  • about 4 years by Adam Hodge 3 / 5

    The visit was made in July and the garden was valiantly surviving the effects of drought. Whilst the garden has a pleasant layout with some interesting trees,shrubs and spaces, the herbaceous plantings were evidently needing considerable maintenance, five worthies were busy tidying.
    I enjoyed finding many unusual as well as common plants but found a hotch potch planting style made for 'busy' beds.

    As the previous reviewer has indicated..charming staff.
  • over 4 years by EILEEN PADDOCK 4 / 5

    I VISITED YOUR LOVELY GARDEN LAST SATURDAY APRIL 17TH. IT WAS A HEAVENLY DAY AND THE GARDEN WAS JUST BEAUTIFUL,IT IS WELL PLANNED AND A PLEASURE TO WANDER AROUND. THE PLANT SECTION WAS VERY ENTICING AND THE LADY SERVING WAS VERY HELPFUL.WE FINISHED OUR VISIT WITH A LOVELY CUP OF COFFEE AND A SLICE OF DELICIOUS HOMEMADE CAKE SERVED BY A VERY PLEASANT YOUNG GIRL. ALL THE STAFF WERE VERY FRIENDLY,SO WELL DONE TO ALL EILEEN PADDOCK MEMBER OF THE BATHEASTON GARDEN CLUB.

The reviews and ratings originate in all cases from third parties. Gardenvisit is in no case responsible for the correctness or accuracy of the reviews. Reviews and similar information are not an expression of Gardenvisit's opinions.

East Lambrook Manor Garden, Somerset Photograph © East Lambrook Manor
East2 East Lambrook Manor
East lambrook manor Photograph © East Lambrook Manor
East Lambrook Manor, South Petherton Photograph © Oxford Botanica/Adam Hodge
East Lambrook, Somerset, Photograph © Oxford Botanica/Adam Hodge
East Lambrook Manor, England Photograph © Oxford Botanica/Adam Hodge
Path, East Lambrook Manor Photograph © Oxford Botanica/Adam Hodge
East Lambrook Manor, July Photograph © Anthurium/Katrina Underwood
East Lambrook Manor, Summer Photograph © Anthurium/Katrina Underwood