18. Buckinghamshire

To be confirmed

Eythrope, Waddesdon
The Lord Rothschild

While the widowed Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild was building Waddesdon, his sister, Miss Alice decided, in 1875, to build a house on the estate for her own use, where she could escape the grandeur of Waddesdon. By 1890 a park and garden of 60 acres had been laid out. This all but vanished after her death in 1922. In 1991 Mary Kean was asked to design a new garden and Sue Dickinson was appointed Head Gardener to oversee and manage the garden. Today the four-acre walled garden at Eythrope is not only a productive garden, supplying vegetables, fruit and flowers for the Rothschild family and Waddesdon’s restaurants, but also, in true 19th century style, an ornamental garden with herbaceous borders, rose borders and an Auricula theatre. A working walled garden on this scale is now almost unheard of and Eythrope has long been a byword for the excellence of its gardening, its remarkable array of glasshouses and a haven for traditional techniques.

Eythrope Tour 18

Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury
The Rothschild Foundation and the National Trust

Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild acquired the Waddesdon Estate in 1874 and commissioned the French architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur to build a house in the French Renaissance style to house his collections and where he could entertain his friends. The hill was leveled and formal gardens, the drives and tree planting were designed by Elie Lainé, who was responsible for the slightly later restoration of the gardens at Vaux-le-Vicomte. The garden, immaculately maintained, is still, inside the curtain of trees, planted as mature specimens by Baron Ferdinand, intensely formal. Baron Ferdinand planted 41,000 bedding plants, with four changes a year and it is one of the rare places where this practice continues, perhaps on a slightly reduced scale.

Waddesdon Manor Tour 18

Waddesdon Manor Tour 18

Kingsbridge Farm, Steeple Claydon
Mr and Mrs Thomas Aldous

The house at Kingsbridge Farm sits low and mellow, old red brick under a warm tile roof and the largely informal garden, created by Serena Aldous, mirrors the house. The lawn is enclosed by softly curving and interestingly planted borders. Winding paths lead into a woodland garden on either side of a small stream, criss-crossed by a variety of bridges including a plank, which is not for acrophobics. But the structure of the garden is very sound, the hedges are beautifully clipped with sloping tops. The formal elements, particularly the central vista leading the eye across the main lawn, past egg-shaped yews, a semi-circle of pleached hornbeam and out across the ha-ha into the countryside beyond are done to perfection.

Meet at Waddesdon Manor. Lunch at Waddesdon Manor.