Petersham House Gardens – formal gardens, generous borders and a vibrant Cutting Garden

After a cycle ride along the towpath and the Thames sparkling in the sunshine, and nearly being late for taking so many photographs, a look in the Kitchen Garden first, which was the vegetable garden but has been co-opted into an additional Cutting Garden, as well as having the peony beds, Hellebores, many old roses and a perennial border with wall-trained pear trees and more roses. And the chicken coop. Mellow, aged red-brick paths and trimmed grass edge the beds.

The Dahlias have clearly loved the heat and recent rains, and I have never seen Tithonia, the orange Torch flower with silky irresistible flower stalks, towering above my head. The prettiest of annual Phlox too, with sunflowers in rich browns and primrose yellows, and delightful Coreopsis. The bog Sage, Salvia uglinosa is adding a clear sky blue to the mix and there are still plenty of Sweet Peas.


Through a wrought iron all-curlicues gate and on to the lawn, with topiary Yew and views up to the Star and Garter and Richmond Hill. Buttressed again with Yew, flower beds overflow with roses, Phlox, Perovska and more. Huge rambler roses and figs clothe the walls.

Double gates lead to the Double Borders, which are a riot – Eupatorium and Macleaya, the Plume Poppy, tower against the Yew hedging and domes, grasses are coming into flower, and the first Asters. Anemones are getting their turn in the spotlight while Sanguisorba still holds on. The straight lines of the clipped grass are blurred by all this late summer generosity. A quick look at the vegetable patch and the Tennis Court, the scene of our weekly Boot Camp for staff, and back in to the Nursery.

Petersham House Gardens are open for one last Hurrah on Sunday 16th September, when more gentle rain and warmth will have sent growth into overdrive no doubt. A long way to go still before Autumn’s final flourish. For details and to book online visit or buy a ticket on the day.

Coming up soon, the flower bowl has been ignited with floating floral fireworks – another post to follow.




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