The gardens at Howick are primarily the work of Charles, 5th Earl Grey, his wife Mabel, and their daughter Lady Mary Howick between 1920 and 2001. They established and maintained an informal and natural style of gardening first advocated by William Robinson in the late 19th Century, which completely replaced the more formal Victorian planting of their ancestors.
All that is left of the old garden are some of the mature trees; all else was swept away. Our basic policy now is to maintain that informal, natural style.
The gardens are best known for their spring bulbs and the woodland garden; there are also summer borders, a rockery specialising in summer plants,and new woodland walks through the arboretum. A wild bog garden around a pond is at its peak in high summer; composed of plants grown from wild seed collecting expeditions (see Arboretum), it is proving very popular and attracts many favorable comments.
The gardens are open from early February to mid November:
Winter Clocks Wed - Sun 10.30am - 4pm
Summer Clocks DAILY 12noon - 6pm (last entry 5pm)
We hope you enjoy your visit and wish to come again. We welcome all comments and please feel free to let us know what you think – the kiosk in the car park has comment forms for your use.