Waddesdon launches exclusive tours of a private Rothschild garden

Waddesdon Image Library, Mat Sunderland

Keen gardeners and historians will be able to visit the walled garden at Eythrope for the very first time 

New tours are being launched at the walled garden at Eythrope in May. These exclusive events will offer a glimpse into a garden that has, until now, been kept intensely private.

Created in the late 19th century by Miss Alice de Rothschild, a passionate and knowledgeable gardener who rebuilt Eythrope, it was redesigned by Lady Mary Keen in the 1990s. Eythrope now supplies produce and flowers to the Rothschild family, the Five Arrows Hotel, Waddesdon’s Manor Restaurant and the monthly Artisan Food Market.

Described by Gregory Long, President Emeritus of The New York Botanical Garden, as ‘the perfect dream of a place’, the four-acre walled kitchen garden at Eythrope is a rare example of a large scale working private garden in the 21st century. It is legendary in the garden world both for its gardening excellence, and as a haven for traditional techniques that might otherwise be lost.

Whilst many kitchen gardens were scaled down or abandoned after the two world wars, Eythrope has been lovingly restored to its original function.

Waddesdon Image Library, Mat Sunderland

Suzie Hanson, Head Gardener at Eythrope said: “These tours offer a rare chance to share the secrets and delights of this remarkable garden with fellow garden enthusiasts. We look forward to introducing them to the 44 varieties of apple and 13 varieties of tomato we grow, alongside the 4,193 plants we propagate each year.

Whether you’re a home gardener, a garden historian searching out old traditions or a professional hoping to learn new tricks, we’re confident that a visit to Eythrope will both intrigue and inspire.”

The gardens are looked after by a team of eight, who collectively boast an impressive 134 years of experience at Eythrope, with vegetable gardener Paul having dedicated the last 40 years of his career to this private garden.

Exclusive guided tours will be held on nine Wednesdays, between May and October. Each lasts approximately 90 minutes, and includes either a two-course lunch or afternoon tea, inspired by Eythrope’s produce, at Waddesdon’s Manor Restaurant.