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open gardens, garden centre and tea room in Colchester and Essex

Green Island Gardens

A little piece of Heaven - on Earth..

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




Corona virus update

Following the latest relaxation of the lockdown rules on July 4th the gardens, nursery and tearoom are now fully open again.
There is no need for pre-booking, and social distancing is not a problem as we have 20 acres of gardens. We ask all our visitors to follow COVID 19 precautions, following the one way system for Entrance & Exit.

The customer toilets are available on site.

Our Summer Fayre on the weekend of July 25/26th has been cancelled, alongside all the Courses scheduled for this summer.

We do limited mail order service and can arrange local delivery. If you are interested please contact us with your requirements and we will get back to you with availability and prices.

Contact Us                       Plant Nursery Page

 2020 Opening Hours

January 14th - November 30th
10am - 5pm
(or dusk)

Tuesday - Friday, Saturday & Sunday
and Bank Holiday Mondays

Sorry No Canine visitors except assistance Dogs.

We are wheelchair friendly


Group Visits

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 Visit Information Pack

Admission Prices

January 14th - March 31st 2020

Adult: £6.50
Child: £2.00
Group of 20+: £6.00

April 1st - October 31st

Adult: £8.00
Child: £2.50
Group of 20+: £7.50

November 1st - 30th

Adult: £6.50
Child: £2.00
Group of 20+: £6.00

2020 Season Tickets

Prices from Jan 1st

Single: £26.00
Double: £39.00 (holder + guest)
Double with 2 names: £45.00 (either holder + guest)

Family ticket from £31.00 available as either a single or double, plus £5.00 per child (2-17)


Prices from Aug 1st 

Single: £18
Double: £26 (holder + guest)
Double with 2 names: £29 (either holder + guest)

Family ticket from £21.50 available as either a single or double, plus £3.50 per child (2-17)


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Click Here for Further Information on Visiting Green Island Gardens

Fiona's Blog


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. 



open gardens, garden centre and tea room in Colchester and Essex


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.



open gardens, garden centre, plant nursey, tea room in Colchester and Essex

Tea Room

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'. 

Read the full story



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.

open gardens, garden centre and tea room in Colchester and Essex


  Special  Events

Bluebells Bazaar

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.



open gardens, garden centre, plant nursery, tearoom in Colchester and Essex



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.





Come & Visit

Please email Fiona Edmond or call (01206) 230455 for group bookings, guided tours, talks or further info. 
We also cater for evening visits with buffet supper, afternoon cream teas private parties and weddings.
You can find the Open Gardens and Nursery at Green Island on Park Road, Ardleigh, near Colchester, Essex.


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