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, The English Garden 2022 and recommended in Great British Gardens 2019 and Essex Days Out as well as being awarded Travellers Choice on Tripadvisor 2022. As well as this, Green Island Gardens has been honoured with becoming a RHS partner garden in 2023!
We are wheelchair friendly
Free entry for RHS members from 1st November 2023 –15th April 2024, and from 1st – 31st November 2024 (excluding Sundays)
and every Wednesday throughout the year
Discount applies 1 September- 12 December only
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+: £8.50 per person
Double: £52.00 (holder + guest)
Double with 2 names: £66.00 (couple + 1 guest, allowing either partner to use the ticket)
Family ticket from £42.00 available as either a single or double, plus £5.00 per named child (2-16)
Double: £37 (holder + guest)
Double with 2 names: £48 (couple + 1 guest, allowing either partner to use the ticket)
Family ticket from £29.50 available as either a single or double, plus £3.50 per named child (2-16)
If you would like to give the gift of entry or season tickets to friends or family, gift vouchers are the perfect way to do this. They can be redeemed for entry, season tickets, in the tearoom and in our nursery, so are a perfect gift for plant and garden lovers. These can be purchased here.
Fiona and her National Collections of Hamamelis and Autumn and Winter flowering Camellias have been featured in an article about Plant Heritage. The article, entitled 'Custodians of Britain's Living Library', discusses the wonderful work that Plant Heritage, Fiona and other collection holders like her do to ensure the continued survival and cultivation of different plant species. Green Island Gardens are proud to be a part of plant heritage and the important work that they do.
At Green Island Gardens we create a series of videos that showcase different aspects of the gardens and give tips to gardeners of all abilities.
In the above video, Fiona shares with you some of her favourite Acers. We have a huge collection of Acers here at the gardens and this video is but a small selection, each grown for different features, all of them stunning.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see our other video about Acers, focused on growing them, and all of our other content!
Learn about Hamamelis in this podcast in collaboration 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.
It’s been a while since I wrote a blog, in fact nearly 3 years! Much has happened at the gardens...
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 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.
National Garden Scheme Open Days 2024
We have a number of National Garden Scheme (NGS) open days coming in 2024! These days help to raise millions of pounds for charity every year, and Green Island Gardens are proud to have been participating in the scheme for 18 years.
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.