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A Spring Tapestry – ON HOLD

April 18, 2020 - May 10, 2020

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The garden is closed until further notice.

As part of the UK’s efforts to stem the spread of the virus, we are sadly closing our garden during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

We will be closely following government advice, and as soon as this changes we will post updates on the website and on our social media feeds. In the meanwhile, you can enjoy postcards of Spring from the gardens via our Instagram and Facebook pages.


It is the burst of colour after the minimalism of the Winter landscape, a flamboyant sashay during the months of April and May.

Joshua Sparkes, head gardener at Forde Abbey, will be shifting the focus from massed tulips in Spring to creating a tapestry of different flowers: ” We have to be more clever with our planting, encouraging the tulips to have more of a perennial nature.”

Instead of ranks of bulbs, he is creating a more natural style of planting, with a 70/30 mix of perennials to tulip bulbs and the opportunity to edit the mix each year, creating an evolving, complex and layered landscape. He is using bulbs that will flower more than once and will top them up every three years or so.

In Spring, ribbons of tulips will provide a flowering thread of colour through a more varied offering of narcissi, muscari and chionodoxa, growing up and through emerging perennial foliage in the company of flowering biennials and annuals: hesperis, lunaria, foxgloves, ornamental kale and woad, along with the bluey silver of myosotis.

Two interconnected tulip swirls will also be in bloom, a lovely way to wander in and amongst the planting and enjoy the beauty close at hand.

Tulip Tours
Join Joshua Sparkes for an inspirational wander around the gardens followed by a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake.

Saturday 18th April, 10am – 12pm
Saturday May 2nd, 10am – 12pm

Tickets will be £10 in addition to entry to the gardens. Please meet by the entrance to the shop just before 10am.

Membership cards are valid and the usual discounts apply.


April 18, 2020
May 10, 2020


Forde Abbey
Forde Abbey
Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU United Kingdom
01460 220231

Historic Houses