Green Island Gardens
Green Island Gardens
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Recommended in Great British Gardens 2019 and Essex Days out as well as visit Essex. Featured in Country Life Feb 2019, The English Garden Feb 2021 and Nov 2021. In 2023, we have also become an RHS partner garden as well! 20 acres of professionally designed gardens within woodland destroyed by the 1987 Hurricane. Now laid out with terrace, Japanese garden, seaside garden, water gardens, gravel garden and extensive woodland gardens. It's a plantsman's paradise with a host of unusual plants in all seasons often borderline hardiness thriving in the unique island microclimate. Special highlights include, snowdrops, Bluebells and Azaleas in May and spectacular Autumn colour. National collections of Hamamelis, and Autumn and Winter flowering Camellias. Nursery, Tearooms, Events & Courses Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm, or dusk which ever is earlier.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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  • Julie C
    Chelmsford, United Kingdom12 contributions
    Maybe we will try again in summer
    The scant staff made for a slightly homespun feel to the garden. We found the garden relaxing and had some interesting species but overall i would be reluctant to recommend a winter visit. The parking we found was tricky and limited with wooden posts easily knocked by ourselves and several others. Catering in many locations are now of a v high stand and i felt they need to up their game in terms of decor, crockery and general appearance. I'm sure the food may have been of good standard but it wasn't appealing enough for us to decide to eat. A friendlier approach from the husband of the gardener could benefit the whole ambience which they are trying to create.
    Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. Homespun is exactly what we are about!! It is my private family home which I open up to the public in order to share it with fellow plants people and gardeners. As with many venues parking is tricky in the winter months and due to the wet winter the grass is not suitable for parking at the moment. The last thing we would want is for our visitors to get their cars stuck in the mud and have to be towed out! Our tearoom is cosy and homely. It is not meant to be swish and modern, but all the feedback we have on the food we offer is positive. We find that the majority of our customers just want some good plain freshly home cooked meals rather than upmarket fancy dishes, so thats what we cater for. I am sorry that you did not appreciate the wealth of planting we have for winter colour, our National collection of Hamamelis has over 80 varieties along with numerous other winter flowering scented shrubs...Daphnes galore, Viburnums, Loniceras, Chimonanthus, Sarcococcas amongst the carpets of snowdrops, aconites and Hellebores. Not sure what else you are looking for in February?
    Written 7 February 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 February 2023
  • Annie
    Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom6 contributions
    Delightful garden
    We really enjoyed our visit to Green Island Gardens at the weekend: drifts of glorious snowdrops with winter aconites, and great to see the hamamelis at this time of year too, but the star of the show were the daphne (Jacqueline Postill, I think). They are distributed throughout the garden and their wonderful fragrance hits you as you approach them: a real treat! I look forward to revisiting at another time of year when the acers are out.
    Thank you for leaving us a review, I am glad you enjoyed your visit to the gardens, and look forward to welcoming you back later in the year.
    Written 23 February 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 22 February 2023
  • Sue L
    49 contributions
    Mixed opinion
    The garden is lovely and peaceful if you’re not on the side near the road and has lots of beautiful acers. There are wild areas, which is great for the wildlife. Could do with more benches dotted around. The tea room was very disappointing with a small, uninteresting selection of cakes. There are lots of tables and chairs outside, which would have been very enjoyable on the hot day we visited, but no sunshades! There’s a marquee you can use for shade but very uncomfortable chairs with a pervading smell of plastic from the tablecloths. Unfortunately we were disappointed and probably won’t visit again.
    Hello Sue Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, we do always try to take on comments to improve our visitor experience. We do have seating for over 100 people at any time on seats and benches around the gardens, however we like to recycle materials and a lot of them are rustic and created from timber found in the gardens which you must have missed? With regards to our tearoom, we are a relatively small business and prefer to have fewer cakes out at once that are all freshly baked, rather than having too wide a choice with them sitting around for days going stale. Our open sided marquee provides plenty of seats in the shade. I have never had anyone else comment about the smell of the tablecloths.?...they are the same as the ones in our tearoom and are made from vinyl pvc to be easily cleanable and hygenic. I also note that most venues that you have reviewed are not gaining very favourable reviews........some people sadly are not easily pleased. 😢
    Written 15 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 June 2023
  • Susan T
    Suffolk, United Kingdom63 contributions
    Bit disappointed.
    Initially pleased. It was a first day out for me after being poorly for a very long while. Friendly young girl in the office greeted us. Loos and parking were good. I was disappointed that the plants and shrubs were not labelled. Some we knew but those we did not we guessed. Quite pricey for the time of year. My husband went to the nursery to buy a couple of plants and I became overcome with fatigue and sat on a box. I was immediately approached by a lady running towards me who told me to not sit there. She said there was a notice. The notice behind me was quite low down and wet with water logged ink and I had not seen it as I could not bend over. I was told there were seats...here and over there but I could not see them and was soooo tired I propped myself up on my stick and stayed still... quite nervous now. If a notice was needed here at that spot why not insert a seat? You had to label your own plants (labels and pencils in the box). Ha ha. DIY. Anyway I did want to be positive but it just fell a bit short. I don't think I will visit again.
    Hello Susan, Thank you for leaving us a review. I am sorry that you were a 'bit disappointed ' with your visit. In answer to your comments...... All of our national collection plants as well as our ornamental trees and shrubs have botanical labels on them. Smaller plants are not labelled for several reasons.....the garden is not a botanical plant collection, it is a family garden and I am a designer. The overall look of the garden is paramount and thousands of labels all over the beds would look horrible! We have a lot of photographers who visit and they would not be able to take commercial photographs if the garden was littered with labels. In addition children and animals move them about. We address this by having detailed planting plans on the tearoom wall, a board at the entrance with photos and names of all the plants that are looking good at the moment and also Fiona is always on hand and will happily name anything visitors want to know about. In the nursery we do not individually name each plant in order to try and keep our costs down. The 'box' you say you sat on is not a box. It is a cover for the box underneath and is not safe for people to sit on! There is a polite notice asking people not to sit on it but it was purely for your own safety that I asked you to not sit on it. The last thing I would have wanted was for you to sustain an injury when it collapsed! There were alternative seats I showed you where you could have sat but chose not to. Perhaps a shooting stick with a seat might have been a good alternative for you to have carried? I do note that all your previous reviews for places you have visited such as Kentwell Hall, Flatford Mill, Arger Fen, Bardwell , all beautiful places to go are all negative reviews. Sadly there is just no pleasing some people!
    Written 1 September 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 31 August 2023
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4.5
620 reviews
Excellent
466
Very good
100
Average
34
Poor
11
Terrible
9

rp951
Clacton-on-Sea, UK3 contributions
Nov 2023 • Solo
Thoroughly enjoyed my visit today on a beautiful sunny Autumn morning, with the colours of the trees looking amazing.
Written 23 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review, we really do appreciate it. It is noce that so many people are still enjoying the coloiur of the trees at this late stage in the year. Hope to see you back at he gardens again soon.
Written 25 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

mikemY7193IK
Boston, MA2 contributions
Nov 2023 • Friends
Expansive with a big variety of plants and foliage colours. A nice contrast to over-preened show gardens. Good map to help explore the gardens. Nice but plain cafe. Very affable staff. Very recommended!
Written 22 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We are glad you enjoyed the gardens even at this late stage in the year. Look forward to welcoming you back again in the future
Written 25 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Julie W
2 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
Mentioned in the RHS Garden magazine as a good place to visit this time of year. Glorious autumn colours from the Acers, liquidambers, autumn flowering camelias and cyclamen, nandinas and much more. Plants looked especially good today in the bright sunshine. Very friendly staff and dogs! Pleasant tearoom and small nursery selling a good selection of some unusual plants. A worthwhile visit.
Written 11 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
The Autumn colour has been so late this year but what a treat to have the fiery reds, yellows and oranges in the middle of November along with the autumn flowering Camellias. Glad you enjoyed your visit and we hope to see you again soon. Thanks for taking the time to leave us a review.
Written 12 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nicky S
1 contribution
Nov 2023 • Couples
We are thrilled to have discovered this ‘hidden gem’ of a garden. It is a horticultural delight filled with a vast array of plants, shrubs and trees, including the unusual. The space flows beautifully, with naturalistic planting, offering subtly-themed design pockets to surprise as you wander. The garden was a feast of autumn colour and texture that glowed in the November sunshine.
The woodland walk was equally stunning which included sweet chestnut trees, silver birch trees, flowering camellias and hydrangeas. We were thrilled to spot a variety of fungi and mosses nestled amongst the leaves and on the logs too.
The homely tea room was a perfect coffee stop on arrival and it also served us well for lunch with delicious jacket potatoes. The staff in the grounds were welcoming and it was lovely to meet and chat with the host, Fiona. What a marvellous haven you have created here - many congratulations! We hope to return again.
Written 9 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to leave us such a lovely review. We are proud that the gardens can provide such colour and beauty for 12 months of the year and it makes all the hard work worth while when knowledgeable gardeners such as yourselves appreciate the gardens for what they really are. We look forward to welcoming you back at a different time of year
Written 10 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Odyssey21879418956
1 contribution
Nov 2023 • Couples
Lots of bright autumn colour with Acers, witch hazels, cotinus and beech. Good space to walk and take in the season. Very friendly staff.
Written 8 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We are glad you enjoyed your visit and hope to see you again soon
Written 10 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Whichcord
3 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
The perfect garden. This is the kind of gen garden lovers dream of. Woodland and water with rare plants, gorgeous acers and delightful dogs and cats. I will be buying a season ticket in the spring and intend to visit in every season (more than once). There's also a great nursery so you can buy the plants you saw and lovely lunches and teas available too. So, SO lovely! Not to be missed.
Written 16 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your lovely review. I am so glad you enjoyed the gardens and tearoom. It is so nice when people appreciate what the gardens are really about and the collection of unusual and rare plants. We look forward to welcoming you back next season
Written 17 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nicole
3 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
The most magical of gardens! In the gorgeous autumn sunlight, it was a series of delighted discoveries. From a beautiful Japanese terrace to a secret woodland garden with fallen trees creating a shelter for shipwrecked children, this garden has it all. I particularly loved the water garden, an oasis of calm and beauty. My friend and I enjoyed seeing the light change through the trees, playing with two gorgeous kittens and taking tea on the sun warmed terrace. Fiona, thank you for sharing your earthly paradise with us!
Written 16 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us such a lovely review. It makes all the hard work worthwhile when people visit and really enjoy the gardens for what they are. Hope to see you back again soon!
Written 16 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

J farrow
2 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
Absolutely amazing garden. No idea this was here, just came across this place after leaving The Place for Plants on the way home.
A real treat for the tree lover with rare species and a huge collection of Acer's.
The staff here were very friendly and I loved the very homely feeling. 5 stars from me.
Written 7 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for taking the time to leave us a review. So glad you enjoyed the gardens and appreciated all the unusual plants we have here as well as the huge collection of Acers. We look forward to welcoming you back again perhaps at a different time of year?
Written 8 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Eleanor J
1 contribution
Oct 2023 • Friends
Visited Green Island Gardens again for the 4th time this year. Really enjoyed it as it is a beautiful and peaceful place.The plantings are clever and well maintained with good use of foliage and flower colours .The Autumn displays are just starting with lovely hues appearing on the Acers, Salvia 'Amistad' has very striking purple flowers, also the coffee and cakes are good too.Well worth a visit at this time of year, also in May for the rhododendrons and azaleas
Written 5 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review, we really do appreciate it. I am so glad that you enjoyed your most recent visit and still found so much colour at this time of year. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
Written 6 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Annie P
23 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
Despite it being October, the amount of colour in the gardens is amazing. Flowers still in bloom and so many shades of green! Looking forward to another visit soon as the trees turn to red and gold. Also, excellent coffee and cakes. Light lunches available too.
Written 5 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review, we really do appreciate it. I am glad you enjoyed your visit to the gardens and tearoom. This year the garden has looked the best it ever has during September and early October with so much colour as a result of the unusually wet summer. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Written 5 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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GREEN ISLAND GARDENS: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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  • Tue - Sun 10:00 - 17:00


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