The garden and landscape at Hadspen is the work of generations of serious gardeners. Much remains of ambitious 17th, 18th and 19th century planting schemes, particularly in the parkland and the woodland associated with the house.

Penelope Hobhouse, who lived at Hadspen until 1979, restored and enlarged the earlier garden and made her work there the subject of her first book The Country Gardener. Recently she has returned to replant the Lower Garden and the parkland.

Since 1986 the Canadian gardeners, Sandra and Nori Pope, have continued this tradition, transforming the Upper and Walled Garden with entirely new planting schemes and a bold use of colour, incorporating the quarter of a mile of old brick walls. Hadspen has always been famous for new and rare plants - the hosta and hellebore collection was started by Eric Smith in the early 1970s - and the Popes have built on this by introducing both outstanding plants from abroad and many they have cultivated themselves, among them Astrantia ‘Hadspen Blood’ and Dicentra ‘Gold Heart’. In 1998 they published ‘Colour by Design’ (Conran Octopus, a book about their theories on colour and planting, and the experience of gardening at Hadspen

‘The Popes have created one of the most exciting and loveliest gardens in britain, not only a beautiful and peaceful garden to visit, but also a wonderful inspiration for any gardener who wants to learn about planting colour harmonies’.
Noel Kingsbury, Country Life, October 1995

‘Hadspen garden has been turned into an extraordinary promenade round a spectrum, a display of unfamiliar plants and an object lesson in cultivation and energy. We can all admire it, see the general picture and return home, having isolated particular plants and groupingd which become a springboard for our own ideas’.
Robin Lane Fox, Financial Times, August 1998

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