Broughton Castle, Banbury – 26 Jun
This ancestral home of the Fiennes family is a total under-the-radar gem, and Open Days for both the garden and house are well worth jumping on. While you might not spot Ralph among the rose bushes, you will see lush borders, a formal walled garden and more pretty stone arches than you can shake a snapdragon at.
Tythrop Park, Kingsey – 26 Jun
Fancy a mooch around the garden of a secret celeb (we’re far too discreet to say who, of course)? Now’s your chance! This gorgeous 10-acre space includes a green and white-themed pool garden, a kitchen cutting garden, rose garden and even a viewing tower (best avoided if you’re scared of heights!).
Stoke Poges Memorial Garden, Stoke Poges – 26 Jun
A little contemplative stroll does wonders for the soul, and in my experience this is one of the prettiest places in the county to do it. A whopping 22 acres of Grade I-listed greenery, Stoke Poges is actually made up of 500 gated family gardens, including rock and water gardens, rose gardens and a sunken colonnade.
Red Kites, Bledlow Ridge – 26 June
This 1.5 acre garden is worth it for the countryside views alone – although the wildflower orchard, pond, woodland walk and vegetable patch aren’t too shabby either. Once you’ve taken a turn around the borders, you can stretch your legs on one of the many rural walks nearby.
The Walled Garden, Wormsley, High Wycombe – 29 June
This one’s a big deal – it’s rare to get access to this Getty estate, so recommend clearing your diary for a wander. Created by Richard Woods – a contemporary of Capability Brown – this manicured two-acre patch was revamped by Sir Paul Getty in 1991. Fun fact: the gardens now provide the displays for the cricket and opera on the Wormsley Estate.
The Old Rectory, Farnborough, nr Wantage – 29 Jun
Once voted the most beautiful Old Rectory in England by Country Life magazine, this property was once the home of local poet John Betjeman. While the house itself isn’t open, you can potter through the 4-acre garden with its herbaceous borders, pool and tennis courts.
Stow Cottage and Arboretum, Chipping Norton – 2 July
Fancy some forest bathing? Don’t fret, you won’t need your two-piece – it’s just a posh word for a walk among the trees. Whatever you call it, there’s no better spot than this peaceful arboretum, which is home to more than 500 different trees, as well as shrubs like roses and daphnes. Book a slot and dive in.
The Paddocks, Wendover- 3 July
Got acreage envy? This amazing Bucks garden just goes to show how much you can pack into limited space, including 2-metre tall delphiniums, a hosta walk and a rose garden that was featured in Alan Titchmarsh’s Love Your Garden for the BBC. Impressive!
Busy this week? Take a look at Open Days throughout July on the National Garden Scheme website.