Hidden away behind vast stone textile mills, and beautifully framed by the sweeping curve of the listed Charlton Viaduct, Kilver Court Gardens & Nursery in Somerset are an unexpected and quirky delight for visitors. The three and a half-acre Gardens, which have featured on BBC programmes including Gardeners’ World, are owned by Roger Saul, the founder of Mulberry and a renowned amateur gardener and plantsman.
“My wife Monty and I both love gardening and garden design, so as soon as we discovered the ‘hidden gardens of Somerset’, we were itching to get our hands on them,” admits Roger.
The Gardens were established in the early 1900s by industrialist Ernest Jardine as a beautiful and inspiring recreational space for workers at his lace mill. Since then, they’ve given enjoyment to generations of visitors and passed through owners including the Showering family (of Babycham fame) and Allied Domecq. Roger bought Kilver Court as a headquarters for Mulberry in 1996, by which time serried ranks of roses had contributed a distinct ‘corporation garden’ look and feel to the three and a half-acre site.
One of their first design decisions was to replace the lines and lines of multi-coloured roses with a box parterre, inside which they planted two types of rose, ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ and ‘Blue for You’, underplanted with alliums to provide wonderful spring colour. In 2018 a stumpery was added as well as the planting of giant gunneras, echiums and tree ferns around the lake to give a lush, sub-tropical feel that’s contributed to it becoming one of Roger’s favourite areas.
The couple’s shared passion for plants and love of design continues to add layers of interest to the Gardens’ rich history, with 2017 seeing the completion of an ambitious project to replant the 100-metre long herbaceous border at the foot of the viaduct.
“I hope that you’re as excited by the Gardens as I was when I first discovered them, and I’m confident you’ll find lots here to inspire you.” Roger Saul.
This adventure is perfect for individuals and small groups, and can be tailored for:
- School groups
- Dog Friendly
Make this experience your own: Send Enquiry