In 2019, 350,000 spring bulbs were planted around the grounds of Waddesdon, the Rothschild House & Gardens in Buckinghamshire, to transform the gardens into a riot of colour. However, with the first national lockdown in March 2020, these flowers bloomed behind closed doors.

Following the Government’s announcement outlining the roadmap out of lockdown, April 2021 will (hopefully) offer the chance for visitors to enjoy these flowers for the first time. Most striking will be the thousands of tulips that greet visitors as they wander through the Aviary gardens, overwhelming the senses with bright colours and incredible scents.

Gardens Manager, Mike Buffin, said, “The timing could not be more perfect, as we expect the 32,500 tulip bulbs to look their most spectacular in the second and third week of April.

“Only a handful of gardeners and essential workers were able to take in the beauty of the spring bulbs last year, so it will be wonderful to see visitors enjoying this incredible sight with loved ones once lockdown restrictions are eased.”

Aviary garden tulips. Waddesdon A Rothschild House & Gardens. Photo Victoria Lovatt Morris
Aviary garden tulips. Waddesdon A Rothschild House & Gardens. Photo Victoria Lovatt Morris

Visitors can also follow a colourful trail around the Tulip Patch, which despite its name, has not featured tulips since Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s day at the turn of the last century. Archive records show colourful tulips were lifted from the formal parterre after flowering and replanted along this pathway where they naturalised making a less ‘showy’ scheme.

Despite successfully replanting tulips here in 2019, the impact of the pandemic means this April will be the first opportunity this century to see tulips in Waddesdon’s Tulip Patch.

Currently in the wider grounds, Daffodil Valley and the Upper Deer Pen are sights not to be missed. A sure sign that spring has arrived, the carpet of yellow daffodils that covers these areas is even more remarkable this year after local school children joined forces with Waddesdon gardeners to plant an additional 36,000 bulbs in 2020. This adds to the flowers that have been growing in Daffodil Valley for over 100 years, planted by James and Dorothy in memory of Alice de Rothschild.


If flowers are not your thing, then you could always go to Waddesdon for the annual Chilli Festi.


From the end of March, daffodils will fade to make way for a sea of purple alliums in May, before wildflower meadows appear throughout the summer months as part of a more sustainable approach to managing the gardens at Waddesdon.


Waddesdon’s grounds are open Wednesday-Sunday (10am-4pm). Tickets must be booked in advance. For more information visit: https://waddesdon.org.uk. Cover image: Daffodils at Waddesdon. Photo Derek Pelling © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor.

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