Green Island Gardens is 20 acres of private gardens, open for the public to visit in Ardleigh near Colchester, Essex. Professionally designed by its owner Fiona Edmond, the land is 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. Featured in Country Living February 2019, and recommended in Great British Gardens 2019 and Essex Days Out
Despite having just entered our third National lockdown we are pleased to say that under government guidelines we are allowed to open to the public. I know a lot of our regular customers will be relieved to hear this as they were able to escape the stresses of the last lockdowns here at the gardens. The nursery and the tearoom are closed, but we are providing hot drinks, soup and sandwiches to 'take away'. For the nursery we offer click and collect and mail order options.
Sadly the National Gardens Scheme have recommended that we cancel our charity opening for the them and Plant Heritage coming up on Sunday 24th January by which time the Hamamelis and snowdrops should be at their peak. The gardens will however still be open on that day. Our National collections are growing....we have over 50 new varieties of Hamamelis and 60 of Autumn flowering Camellias waiting to be planted as soon as weather conditions allow.
Due to Covid we will be limiting interaction at the entrance as much as possible so if you would like to buy a season ticket for this year it would help us if you could purchase in advance, either online or by calling the gardens during opening hours.
We very much hope things will return to normality as soon as possible
Tuesday - Friday, Saturday & Sunday
and Bank Holiday Mondays
We are wheelchair friendly
Green Island Gardens welcomes group visits all year round, from horticultural to social clubs we can create a wonderful day out for your group.
To avoid disappointment please contact us to ensure availability for your chosen date.
Group of 20+: £6.00
Group of 20+: £7.50
Group of 20+: £6.00
Double: £42.00 (holder + guest)
Double with 2 names: £48.00 (couple + 1 guest, allowing either partner to use the ticket)
Family ticket from £34.00 available as either a single or double, plus £5.00 per child (2-17)
Double: £29 (holder + guest)
Double with 2 names: £32 (either holder + guest)
Family ticket from £24.50 available as either a single or double, plus £3.50 per child (2-17)
At Green Island Gardens we create a series of videos that showcase different aspects of the gardens and give tips to all of you.
There is no better way than lifting the spirits with Snowdrops!
In this video Fiona talks about Snowdrops, and how easy it is to become a Galanthophile, collecting this pretty lovely flower and all its varieties.
A promise of the brighter days of spring coming our way!
Learn about different types, different tips and information to be successful with your collection and visit Fiona's special Snowdrop collection!
Tips useful both for the experienced gardener and for the gardener who is willing to learn.
If you can't resist the temptation of starting your Snowdrop collection, or to expand it, get in touch with us!
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to access to all our videos!
Learn about Hamamelis in this podcast with Roots and All.
In this episode Fiona talks knowledgeably about Hamamelis, also known as Witch-hazel,
plant for which we hold the National Collection with Plant Heritage.
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 uniq"t;;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 are 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 coffees with a choice of delicious home made cakes and freshly baked scones, 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 Winifred Elin. The house was designed as a bungalow for her by Raymond Erith 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 and goddaughter Mrs Cissie Parker inherited Green Island just after the 1987 hurricane in which much of the woodland was destroyed. 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'.
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.
Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd May 2020
It is a perfect time to come and see the Bluebells & Azaleas. We will also have a host of craft stalls, selling local and handcrafted items.
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.