Green Island Gardens are private gardens, open for the public to visit in Ardleigh near Colchester, Essex. Professionally designed by its owner Fiona Edmond, Green Island Gardens are laid out as a series of structured gardens displaying a huge range of unusual trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs - 'A Plantsman's Paradise'. Surely one of the best gardens open to visit in Essex. Recommended in Great British Gardens 2016 and Essex Days Out.
Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays,
Fridays and Bank Holiday Mondays
Tuesday - Sunday
and Bank Holiday Mondays
Family: £28.00 + £5/child
Season ticket holders receive discounts on our courses
After August 1st, season tickets: single £15.00, and double £22.00
Carer with badge £2.50
We accept all major credit and visa debit cards
We regret only assistance dogs are permitted in the gardens.
Grounds are wheelchair/mobility scooter friendly.
Green Island Gardens hosts visits all year round, from Horticultural to social we can create a wonderful day out for your group. Click the button below for a group booking information pack.
To avoid disappointment please contact us to ensure availability for your chosen date.
20 acres of professionally designed gardens by Fiona Edmond including terrace, japanese garden, huge island beds, water gardens, gravel, seaside gardens and extensive woodland gardens all packed with a host of unusual plants often of borderline hardiness seen thriving in the unique "island microclimate" The gardens are sensitively planted for interest all year round and special highlights include the snowdrops in February, Bluebells and Azaleas in April/May, main borders and water gardens June to September and finally the autumn colour in October/November.
"A Plantsman's Paradise"
The gardens and plant nursery are open regularly for the public to visit and for the National Garden Scheme and other charities.
The nursery has grown to supply plants to gardens that Fiona designs for private clients and to meet the demands of the visitors to the gardens, who often delight at finding so many of the plants that are displayed in the gardens on offer for sale in the nursery.
There is a large choice of shrubs, herbaceous plants and bulbs as well as a selection of ornamental trees for sale.
There is a large number of Acers for sale at reasonable prices.
We aim to keep prices as low as possible, and visitors are invited to write their own plant name labels.
Fiona can usually be found around the garden and she and her staff will be happy to give any advice on plants in the gardens and the nursery.
Our tea room offers a relaxed place to reflect on the gardens and enjoy some refreshments. In addition to a selection of Teas and Coffee with a choice of delicious home made cakes, light lunches are available daily including a variety of freshly filled baguettes and toasted sandwiches to order, jacket potatoes and home made soups. Traditional cream teas with sandwiches, savouries, scones and cakes can be ordered in advance.
We are happy to cater for groups and private parties.
There is a photographic exhibition where wildlife photographs taken all around the world by Fiona's parents can be purchased as prints or cards; and also a garden design exhibition where plans of 'before' and 'after' photographs of gardens that Fiona has designed for private clients can be viewed, along with plans and photographs showing the development of Green Island Gardens.
Green Island was originally part of the Ardleigh Park estate which was owned by Miss Winnifred Elin. The house was designed as a bungalow for Miss Elin and built in 1958 where she lived a simple natural existence, entertaining many of her fellow members of the anthroposophical society of which she was secretary in 1939. Part of the the original orchard from the park survived and relics of a small area of garden could be seen. Miss Elin's housekeeper Mrs Cissie Parker inherited Green Island in the late 1970's. Much of the woodland was destroyed in the 1987 storm with many mature oaks being lost. In 1996 Fiona Edmond and her husband bought the house and moved to Green Island with their children. Fiona was seriously ill with M.E and over the next ten years the project of redesigning the garden became her 'therapy'. In 1999 the garden was opened to the public along with a plant nursery and tearoom.
Although we do not have a license to hold traditional wedding ceremonies, we are able to cater for alternative ceremonies and wedding receptions. We will build the package to suit your needs ranging from a Victorian afternoon tea party to a large evening function with hog roast, music and dancing.
Bluebells & Azalea’s Weekend
Saturday 6th / Sunday 7th May
A chance to visit the gardens and enjoy the commencement of spring with the woodlands carpeted in Bluebells and the vibrant Azaleas. An open air bazaar will be held in the main gardens with stalls showcasing local art, crafts and produce.
Home cooked snacks and refreshments will be available in the tearoom.
Fiona's father Robert Macdonald has a love of Wildlife Photography, which he now shares with Fiona's Mother Marny.
A series of their images as prints and cards taken all around the world can be viewed and purchased in the tearoom at Green Island Gardens.