The Rhododendron Walks at Bowood in Wiltshire are now closed for the season.
From late April to mid June, according to the flowering season, a separate woodland rhododendron garden at Bowood is open to visitors. This is a spectacular attraction offering breathtaking vistas of colour and beauty covering over 60 acres. This woodland garden oasis of azaleas, magnolias and rhododendrons is considered to be one of the most exciting gardens of its type in the country and can be combined with a day out in Wiltshire including Bowood House & Gardens, making it a garden to visit.
The woodland rhododendron garden surrounds the family mausoleum, one of Robert Adam’s finest classical buildings, which was commissioned in 1761 by the widow of the 1st Earl of Shelburne, who purchased Bowood in 1754. Recently, the Rhododendron Walks have been the subject of one of the most exciting and significant horticultural finds – over 30 original hardy hybrids which were thought to be extinct. The original plants date back to when the garden was first planted by the 3rdMarquis of Lansdowne in 1854.
The present Lord Lansdowne’s great grandfather substantially expanded the garden on his return from India where he was Viceroy.
The Jubilee Garden
The Jubilee Garden is a new four-acre section of garden within the Rhododendron Walks, which was originally laid out around 1850 by the 3rd Marquis of Lansdowne. Maintaining this family tradition, the new addition to the Rhododendron Walks has involved a seven year labour of love for the 9th Marquis of Lansdowne who started planting in the wood that’s known as ‘The Jubilee Garden’ in 2006. This particular area is shaped by a small natural valley with a magnificent clump of yews at each corner.
Lord Lansdowne’s great-grandfather, the 5th Marquis (Viceroy of India from 1888-94) had considerably expanded the rhododendron gardens and these corner markings suggest he had been intending to create a garden here over 100 years ago.
The Jubilee Garden is open Monday-Friday during the Rhododendron flowering season
There is plenty of complimentary parking located just outside the entrance to the Rhododendron Walks and well behaved dogs on leads are welcome. If you are interested in keeping up to date with which species are flowering whilst the Walks are open, please check the Garden Diary.