We visited Benington Lordship Gardens in February when they were open particularly for the snowdrops. These are both a beautiful carpet of snowdrops around the old moat and a labelled, planted display in the garden of many individual varieties. Until you see them planted in clumps like this I do not think people realise how different are the various varieties. There are those which are over a foot tall as well as tiny, miniature ones; ones whose flowers are wide open and others that stay closed looking like little white lanterns. Even the leaves vary from narrow strap-like ones to much wider ones, some with a blue tint.
In addition to the snowdrops there were aconites, hellebores and crocuses which were just coming out. In the summer there are herbaceous borders, a walled vegetable garden and roses. The site is in an attractive part of Hertfordshire with grassy slopes leading down to a river and several small spring-fed ponds. The gardens were laid out over a hundred years ago and surround the existing manor house built in 1744 (not open to the public). The neo-Norman folly was built in 1838 and looks as though it has always been there.
The garden is only open at certain times of the year – see their “website”:http://beningtonlordship.co.uk/ and entry is £5, RHS members free on certain dates. Over the August Bank Holiday they have a Chilli Festival. Car parking is in the Village Hall, close to the gardens. The garden has several steep slopes and steps so much of it would be difficult with a wheel chair. We had a good vegetable soup and a delicious cheese scone for lunch. Cream teas were also available.
We enjoyed our visit, wandering around for about an hour before going to the tea room. It is definitely worth a visit but would not warrant a full day out.