Visit to Belvoir Castle Gardens

View of Belvoir Castle from the rose garden terrace. There’s a gorgeous new collection of tree peonies to complement the last of the tulips.

It’s 14 months since I set foot in a garden open to the public. I’ve missed getting out and about, seeing friends and taking photos. But this week I was invited to a media day for the Belvoir Flower and Garden Show, and it feels great to be back visiting gardens and getting inspiration for my own little plot.

The show, on 17 and 18 July, is held on the banks of a grand and picturesque Capability Brown lake in the grounds of Belvoir Castle. All the details are on the new show website:

As part of the media day, we were given a guided tour of the castle gardens. Here’s a ‘slide show’ of photos from my first day trip out. I hope you are managing to get out and about a bit more now. Get in touch and let me know what you’ve seen and where you’ve been. I don’t know about you, but I’m raring to go!

A close up of one of the gorgeous tree peonies on the terrace. I must ask the garden designer David Stevens what varieties he has planted, and report back when I find out.
There’s a collection of wisterias all along the sunny side of the castle walls. The scent is just glorious, reminiscent of lilies and wallflowers, and drifts right down the terraces to the woodland garden.
Wisteria is one of the glories of the late spring and early summer garden. Chinese Wisteria sinensis produces flowers on bare wood, and stems twine anticlockwise. Japanese W. floribunda twines in a clockwise direction and produces flowers and leaves at the same time. Many garden forms have been developed from Japanese varieties. At college, we were taught to make the letter J for Japan with our finger, which naturally curves round into a clockwise shape. Drawing the C- shape in the air turns our fingers anticlockwise. A simple way to remember which way to train and tie in our wisteria stems!
Good varieties to look out for include mauve-purple Wisteria sinensis ‘Amethyst, and beautifully-scented Wisteria floribunda ‘multijuga.’ It’s best to buy wisteria in flower so you can see what you are getting. They will flower better on south facing walls, protected from late spring frosts.
After moving on from the rose terrace, I wandered down through the Japanese Woodland Garden. There are new all-weather paths, which makes it easier to get to the heart of the valley garden.
It’s been a bad year for camellias. Nearly all the plants in the village gardens near me have been damaged by frost. But the flowers in the Belvoir woodland garden were looking at their best, protected by a wide-spreading canopy of 400 year old native trees.
Azaleas thrive in the dappled shade and provide a gloriously-perfumed walk.
An avenue of new trees has been planted. These all seem to be types of ornamental cherry. Some were still in flower, although the trees are only a few years old.
This one had a label attached. Prunus Beni-Tamanshiki, meaning ‘spring snow.’ A Matsumae cherry with red ball-like buds opening to double white flowers with a hint of pink.
The cherry trees line a path down to a natural pond. There’s a picturesque pink cottage on the other side of the water.
In a quiet spot, I found this pet graveyard. I rather liked the sound of Perky, a grey cat. ‘Beloved friends to the manners family.’
Retracing my steps, I found these box ball shapes grown together to form a ‘caterpillar.’ Box looks wonderful with new bright green leaves catching the spring sunshine. Luckily they don’t seem to suffer from the dreaded box blight, and box tree caterpillar hasn’t managed to find its way to Leicestershire yet.
Midway along the path, there’s this folly on a mound with argyranthemum daisies at the base, and climbing roses and honeysuckle around the archway entrance.
Here’s the view from the little summerhouse on top of the mound.
Finally, I had a last look around the rose terrace where these tulips were still flowering. If anyone knows the variety name, please let me know.
These tulips look particularly fine alongside emerging pink peonies .

A particularly blowsy tree peony. Unknown variety. Much loved by bees.

Even the peony foliage is attractive.

Back past the topiary yew to the castle for afternoon tea. After all that walking, tea and cake is very much appreciated.

And the spread didn’t disappoint! we had a selection of finger sandwiches with very fresh artisan bread. Followed by plates of tiny cakes, profiteroles, strawberry cheesecakes, carrot cake, chocolate cake and chocolate pots, and to round off… some fresh scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Vegetarians are catered for, thankfully. There was so much on offer, we asked for some little boxes to take the spare cakes home to family. Nothing was too much trouble and the friendly service, cakes and tea (decaffeinated for me) were all first class. We felt it was a safe environment with covid safety taken seriously. I’ll be back soon, accompanied by my mother, to view the roses when they flower. And we are also booked to attend the Belvoir Flower and Garden Show in July.

Thank you for reading. Please search past the hashtags to reach the comments box, or click comments alongside the title name.

I wrote about Belvoir Castle here :

25 thoughts on “Visit to Belvoir Castle Gardens

    • Thank you for your very kind words. It is indeed a very lovely garden – and there’s even more to see in the summer when the roses are in flower. Which will be included in a future blog post. All the best, and thanks for reading my blog. Karen


    • Thank you Mary. Thanks for reading and for your kind words. I had such a lovely day out. A special moment, as it was the first visit anywhere in over a year.


  1. Looks fabulous (including the afternoon tea!)
    I’ve never understood twining directions for climbers; clockwise or anti-clockwise – surely it depends whether you are looking at it from above, or below!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. It really has improved over the past few years with the new planting by David Stevens. Interestingly he uses roses from Peter Beales Nursery and varieties that have stood the test of time. that’s true re climbers. I’m assuming you are standing looking at them straight ahead. I should have perhaps said so. Thanks for reading. All the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really interesting to read this as it is somewhere we have not been – and what a great time of year to visit! The creamy tulip with pink tips looks as if it might be Elegant Lady

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy. You must visit in the summer when the roses are out. The woodland walk is so peaceful. It’s a place to rest and recharge. And the afternoon tea is recommended. Ah yes, Elegant Lady. A very pretty and reliable tulip. Have a great week. Karen xx


  3. How lucky to go on such a fun excursion for your first garden trip out! Everything was so gorgeous. I loved all the beautiful photos and thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Thank you so much for sharing. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The hardy Azaleas do have their place. I absolutely loved the way in which the Wisterias gracefully curtain the element of the structure upon which they grow. My pink Peony Rose is unlikely to bloom till end of June-beginning of July. Most years I get to ogle them for a day or three, then fierce winds blow and that is the end of them for another year.

    Your afternoon tea was a very nice treat. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Yes, the wisterias are absolutely wonderful. They have been trained around the windows, and then there’s one stem that’s made an escape up a drain pipe and is going along the top of the battlements. Plants often find a way. It made me smile. My peonies are currently being battered by gale force winds and torrential rain. We seem to be getting all the April showers we missed last month – now in May! Difficult to get on with any gardening at all. I’ve just come in from tying up the flopped sweet peas and broad beans. I’ve had to change everything I’m wearing as I’m wet through! Have a good weekend x


  5. Really enjoyed the wander around the garden beautiful flowers& scenery ,unable to travel myself so appreciated the outing thank you .Jean kinchington .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jean. So pleased you enjoyed the wander around the gardens. I’m not travelling far still. Luckily Belvoir Castle is just 30 minutes drive away. Have a good weekend. And thank you for reading and getting in touch. 🌸


    • Thank you Noelle. It was such a lovely sunny afternoon. It rained all morning, but I just chose the right moment to turn up! I felt much better for getting out and about again. I’ve become somewhat a hermit this last year! Thanks for reading the blog.


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