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
Tuesday - Sunday
and Good Friday 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+: £7.50
Group of 20+: £8.50
Carers will need to provide proof of receipt of carers allowance, or professional employment as a carer in order to receive discounted entry.
Double: £48.00 (holder + guest)
Double with 2 names: £64.00 (couple + 1 guest, allowing either partner to use the ticket)
Family ticket from £39.00 available as either a single or double, plus £5.00 per named child (2-16)
Double: £33 (holder + guest)
Double with 2 names: £46 (couple + 1 guest, allowing either partner to use the ticket)
Family ticket from £27.50 available as either a single or double, plus £3.50 per named child (2-16)
Join Fiona to make up your own wreath using materials from the garden.
Mulled wine and mince pies too!
All materials included £40
All our courses are going to be restarting in September. If you have voucher feel free to rebook by emailing us, or if you fancy a doing 1 day workshop led by Fiona herself or for the more adventurous why not book on the next 6 week garden design course and be guided through the stages of redesigning your own garden from scratch. See the courses page.
If you are on your own but could do with some company. Perhaps you are a parent/grandparent that has taken your grand/children to school- now in the strange and quiet world of an empty home.
You are having a ‘nothing to do day’, but fancy being around other people,
Or any other reason you’d like to join in....then come to meet us at Green Island Gardens, from 10am every Wednesday, for general chit-chat, and a bit of gentle socialising. This will be an ongoing event that you can come to each Wednesday at your leisure.
Entry to the tearoom is always free, there is no obligation to purchase a ticket for the gardens.
A chance to enjoy acres of snowdrops lit up by the fiery colours of our national collection of Hamamelis
Supporting the NGS
National Gardens Scheme
A special occasion to visit the gardens and enjoy the sights & smells of spring with the woodlands carpeted in Bluebells and the vibrant Azaleas.
Come and enjoy the open air bazaar showcasing local art, crafts and produce.
Produced by Kick In The Head, Written by Alfred Shaughnessy, Directed by Simon Downing
With Giles Shenton as Herbert Pinnegar
Described as “Downton Abbey with gardening tips”, Old Herbaceous is the humorous love story of a single-minded yet gentle man with a passion for plants and is a charming one man play which has entranced sell-out audiences all around the country over the last five years.
An acute and sometimes hilarious observation of relationships between the classes in a simpler age, Old Herbaceous is sprinkled with witticisms and epithets. The evening blossoms into tender humour, much in the traditionally understated English style of the early 20th century.
As Old Herbaceous, renowned actor Giles Shenton truly lives the part of the legendary Head Gardener, Herbert Pinnegar, inviting you to feel included in a private chat from a bygone, comforting age. Keeping you engrossed, amused and emotionally engaged from start to finish, Old Herbaceous will leave you with a feeling that, perhaps, all’s right with the world.
Doors open from 1.30pm Tickets £15 Adult, £10 Under 16
Ticket link will be added nearer the date
At Green Island Gardens we create a series of videos that showcase different aspects of the gardens and give tips to all of you.
Classic Camellias to awake your Spring Garden!
In this video Fiona talks about Spring Camellias, different varieties you can find,
some peculiarities about them and how to look after this classic eastern and southern Asiatic evergreen shrub.
Tips useful both for the experienced gardener and for the gardener who is willing to learn.
If you can't resist the temptation of adding a Camellia to your Garden, get in touch with us!
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to access to all our videos!
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.
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.
The first weekend in May
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.