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“Nursing Heretic Thoughts!”

Hestercombe Gardens
Ranked #3 of 42 things to do in Taunton
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Hestercombe is a unique combination of three centuries of garden design: Coplestone Warre Bampfylde's Georgian landscape garden, the Victorian terrace and shrubbery and the stunning Edwardian garden design by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. All have undergone acclaimed restoration work and today provide important examples of gardens in contrasting styles that continue to grow and develop. The award-winning visitor facilities include the warm and welcoming Stables Restaurant & Coffee Shop with a bright, airy, stylish Courtyard.Copyright © Hestercombe Gardens
Level Contributor
71 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Nursing Heretic Thoughts!”
Reviewed 17 June 2014

We have visited Hestercombe at most times of the season. It rarely looks any different. OK, it's a garden museum showing how wonderful the partnership was . The true magnificence of this place is the hard landscaping in the formal garden which provides a superb theatre for exciting planting . So it is right that the Jekyll/ Lutyens partnership should be celebrated.
It is often said that a garden is never completed, that they evolve and develop over time. Who is to say that Gertrude's planting ideas were the best and that the choice of plants could not be bettered? I am beginning to wonder why Gertrude's planting is held in such high regard.
When we visited this week and looked down on the Great Plat we saw the big peonies in full bloom we looked forward to getting up close to savour their scent. It was a fine warm afternoon and the Great Plat was sheltered and trapped the warmth. But the peonies had no perfume whatsoever! What a disappointment! Surely there were perfumed peonies around when she was making her plans ? Some of the roses on the pergola also had no scent - what a waste! And those dreary
Bergenias as an edging! All leaf and hardly any colour. Perhaps they are to blame for sheltering the pests that are damaging the cannas and delphiniums in the centre of the beds? Most colour was provided by mimulus in the rill but was this planted originally or is it an interloper?
Perhaps it is time to review the planting to provide round the year interest that modern day visitors will appreciate ( and satisfy their legitimate expectation for value for money) and to use some more rewarding plants? There. I've said it.
The Landscape garden is as appealing as ever and provides a pleasant walk with interesting design features.
The average rating comes from the overall experience of us as visitors - entrance fees as expensive as Wisley , catering prices on the hefty side, and often a disappointing lack of interest in the garden and some maintenance issues with bindweed and overgrown shrubs.

Visited June 2014
Thank Londoner3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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689 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Zomergem, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Level Contributor
106 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A must for garden lovers”
Reviewed 16 June 2014

We were lucky to have a warm sunny day so walking through the gardens both formal and natural was a magical experience, beautiful views of Somerset countryside from the top, and the gardens ... just are wow!

Visited June 2014
Thank Marc G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
67 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Absolutely stunning, best of its kind”
Reviewed 12 June 2014

This is the best formal garden I have ever visited designed by Lutyens. There is so much here, so much to see, it's hard to be disappointed. And as a bonus the house has just been opened up to the public too. There's not much there yet, except a contemporary art exhibitiowhich is not yo my taste, but the house retains many original and restored features. An absolute must! Plant prices are reasonable too

Visited June 2014
Thank lillibetdevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Lovely gardens”
Reviewed 10 June 2014 via mobile

Lovely gardens but was quite expensive! It was a relaxing day out and enjoyed very much. Would recommend it if you love gardens

1 Thank Nicholas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taunton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Marvellous place to visit”
Reviewed 4 June 2014

Do visit this house and gardens. You could easily spend the whole day here. Much to see outside in the gardens and the exhibitions in the house.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank GeraintJones123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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