Summer House & Golden Grove

On Holly Walk, the path above the Summer House, are some hollies which were planted after the removal of Rhododendron plants. Ilex aquifolium ‘Flavescens’, ‘Madame Briot’, ‘Bacciflava’, ‘Silver van Tol’, ‘Ferox Argentea’, and ‘Handsworth New Silver’ are planted in big groups, interspersed with Monkey Puzzle’s [Araucaria araucana]. These were grown from seed and Deborah Duchess planted out seventeen among the hollies and several are still thriving.

The Summer House was described by Deborah Duchess as ‘a hideous building of the Bachelor Duke’s’. He wrote: ‘here is, or ought to be, Luttrell’s seat, in the spot he fancied: the style is Saracenic; the columns are of Aberdeen granite, and the rude central capital of serpentine came with me from Palermo, and is the cause of this manner of decoration.

Near the Summer House is a plot planted in gold and yellow – the Golden Grove. All the shrubs and small trees here were given by friends and neighbours of the 11th Duke and Duchess to mark their golden wedding in 1991. Planting includes Malus x zumi ‘Golden Hornet’, Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Sunburst’, Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’, Rhododendron ‘Haida Gold’, R. ‘Golden Wedding’, Spiraea x japonica ‘Goldflame’ and S. x japonica ‘Gold Mound’.

Above the Golden Grove are winter- and early spring-flowering shrubs, including Mahonia, Hamamelis, and Viburnum x bodnantense.