Wintry misty morning, South facing view of grounds

Planning your visitGrounds

Explore the gardens

Baron Ferdinand created his garden for the amusement of his guests, who spent an entire morning on their tour. Waddesdon had one of the most important Victorian gardens. Many of the key features have been restored and can be enjoyed by today's visitors.

Glimpse the gardens on film

Watch this short video to see highlights of the gardens at Waddesdon including the Aviary, Parterre, sculpture and carpet bedding throughout the changing of the seasons.

Download a map of the grounds>

Read about A year in the gardens>

The Parterre

Birds eye view of parterre gardens

All the reception rooms and principal bedrooms had views of the Parterre, the highlight of the formal garden. This was restored in 1994 to designs by Beth Rothschild. The magnificent display of tiers of different coloured plants is planted with a new design twice a year, using around 110,000 plants. It takes a little longer than it did in Ferdinand’s day, when the entire scheme was replaced overnight after a storm.

Waddesdon won the Europa Nostra award in 2000 for ‘the extraordinary re-creation with modern techniques of a major Victorian garden.’

The flower beds are lovely. Lots of polyanthus in flower and the tulips will be in flower soon. Such beautiful colours. Both the white by the aviary and the red, orange and yellow at the back of the house were so pretty. We loved spotting the birds in the aviary as always. Well done Waddesdon.

TripAdvisor review

Aviary garden

The Aviary in spring time

This was restored in 2004 to its colourful Victorian appearance with raised ribbon bedding – plants of a single colour and texture planted in tiers or ‘ribbons’ one above the other. The original sculptures, one made for the gardens of Versailles, has been reinstated.

Pulham Rock

Artificial rock grottoes were a feature of late-19th-century gardens. James Pulham invented a way of creating large blocks out of lime mortar poured over brick and rubble – a cheaper and quicker way than hewing blocks of stone. In 1895 the firm was granted a royal warrant for the work they did at Sandringham and Buckingham Palace. The mound between the Aviary and the North Avenue was originally the home of Ferdinand’s collection of mountain sheep and goats.

Check out our interactive rockwork trail >

Water Garden

Water Garden

Abandoned and fallen into disrepair after the Second World War, the Water Garden was rediscovered in 1989, nearly 100 years after it was created. It was originally visited on the way to the Dairy and glasshouses. A series of small lakes interconnected by Pulham rockwork, waterfalls, cascades and paths, and a lake with rare water fowl, it can be visited during special tours or pre-booked tours.

Water Garden Walk at the Dairy >

You’ll find details of the Woodland Playground on our Families page and you can explore our garden sculptures and carpet bedding delights on the Art in the gardens page.

For families

Art in the gardens