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Art in the garden

The 18-century sculptures, carpet bedding displays and contemporary art pieces in our gardens are among the most distinctive features at Waddesdon Manor.

Baron Ferdinand used 18th-century sculpture to create points of interest or to frame views in the gardens of the manor. The sculpture in the two fountains at Waddesdon came from the palace of the Dukes of Parma.

Parterre fountain
Parterre fountain © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor / Chris Lacey

Three-dimensional planting

Miss Alice de Rothschild is credited with introducing sculpture made out of living plants to the gardens. Her bird has been recreated near the Aviary and our carpet bedding birds are a recurring summer attraction for visitors.

Pekin Robin in carpet bedding
Pekin Robin in carpet bedding

Carpet bedding in action

The Rothschilds were pioneers of carpet bedding, using close-growing plants to create ‘pictures in plants’. The large beds around the South Fountain are planted each year with designs inspired by exhibitions in the house.

Watch this short animated film showing how we create a picture in plants.

Statues being wrapped against the cold weather

Statues wrapped for winter

During the winter months from the end of October to the end of March (depending on the weather) we wrap all our statues against the frost. So don’t be surprised to see ghostly looking shapes in the grounds during your visit.

See more about the garden

Contemporary sculpture

Today, our 18th-century statues are joined by contemporary sculpture. Lafite, our two giant candlesticks by Joana Vasconcelos, adorned with  Château Lafite Rothschild wine bottles, and Le Carrosse by Xavier Veilhan depicting a red charging horse-drawn carriage, both stand at the North Front entrance to the Manor.

Two large outdoor sculptures shaped like candlesticks consisting of a metallized and themo-lacquered iron structure adorned with Château Lafite Rothschild wine bottles lit from inside with ultra-light LEDs.
Joana Vasconcelos, Lafite, 2014-15, acc. no. 162.2014.1-2
Carriage pulled by six horses in red powder-coated steel
Veilhan, Le Carrosse, 2010-12, acc. no. 7.2013

There are more modern artworks in the grounds at Windmill Hill and Flint House if you want to walk further afield in the estate.

Discover Windmill Hill

Windmill Hill map 2015 PDF

More art in the garden pictures