Inspirational Hestercombe Gardens

Daisy Steps planted by Gertrude Jekyll in collaboration with Edward Lutyens at Hestercombe Gardens. © Karen Andrews

I arrived at Hestercombe near Taunton, Somerset on a stiflingly hot day. I headed for the woods and took refuge in the shade. Hestercombe’s Landscape Garden was inspired by the 18th Century taste for idealised classical landscapes. The Formal Garden was designed by the architect Edward Lutyens (1869-1944) with the horticulturalist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932). Their partnership has been hugely influential on garden design and colour palettes. The garden has had to undergo a major restoration since their time with reference to original plans.

Inspirational and Influential

I remember being struck on my first visit that many features were already familiar from gardening books. Hestercombe still influences gardeners to this day. I was particularly pleased to discover a wildflower meadow teeming with butterflies and bees in keeping with modern trends and environmental concerns.

Sound of Water

I followed the path past Rook Wood and up the hill towards the Chinese Bridge and Box Pond. I then meandered my way back down the other side of the valley to the formal gardens in front of Hestercombe House. You never seem to be far from the relaxing sound and sight of water. A series of photos follow from my walk.

The Great Cascade in Hestercombe’s Landscape Garden. © Karen Andrews
My favourite view at Hestercombe under the fabulously florid pergola with its oeil de boeuf window in the distance. © Karen Andrews

Hestercombe has had a huge influence on garden design and gardeners’ plant and colour combinations. That influence continues today. I noted that this year’s comeback flower Astilbe appears in the foreground below. The modern tread towards wildflower meadows is also represented. The number of butterflies and bees in the meadow made me smile.

References and Further Reading

  • White, Philip (2013): Hestercombe paradise restored. An Illustrated History and Guide. Hestercombe Gardens Trust.


Karen does not seek or receive any commercial interest or advantage from this blog. She is not promoting any business venture. She simply loves to share fascinating facts about plants. These pages illustrate her love of plants, botany, biodiversity, gardens and creative expression. There is always so much to learn about plant diversity. This blog is designed as a showcase for photography, commentary on plants and wildlife, gardens and other places visited, horticulture and related topics. Viewpoints are her own, not those of her employer.

All above photos © Karen Andrews

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