A three thousand acre estate encapsulating Capability Brown designed parkland, a fernery, walled gardens, meandering paths through enchanting woodland and peaceful lakes.
The dominant landscape at Ugbrooke has always been the Park, designed by preeminent landscape gardener, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Known for his remodelling of some of the best known country house estates, to create serene, natural environments. Brown’s proposals for Ugbrooke were made during the latter years of his career, with his draft drawings depicting the plan for Ugbrooke now hanging inside the house.
There is little evidence of a garden here until the 19th century. However, the earliest reference is about the 4th Lord Clifford’s gardener who was “Frequently drunk 3 or 4 days a week and then abused everyone in the house”. Happily, this is not the case with the present, hard-working gardening team today. With advice from Michael Hickson, V.M.H, former head gardener at Knightshayes, there has been extensive replanting. A new border by the greenhouse was planted, the Spanish Garden transformed and the overgrown slope by the top lake cleared to form the recently planted magnolia walk.
Legacies from the 19th century are the formal lavender parterre and the Chusan palms (Trachycarpus fortune) leading to the delightful Orangery tearoom. Partaking in a traditional Devon cream tea overlooking this part of the garden is just heavenly, bathed in wafts of fragrance from the lavender hedges and David Austin roses.
Further on, the Greenhouse border is a restful area of plants chosen for their grey blue and silver foliage and flowers. Finally, across the fairy-like bridge, there is a formal garden with its clipped box maze looking across a stereotypical Capability Brown grassy avenue towards the lakes.