You all know that I love to explore my local area at the weekend. It’s easy to live somewhere and assume you know the area because you do the school run or shop on the high street. The first Lockdown we experienced last year meant we REALLY explored our local area. We took the chance to go on walks and re-visit them over and over again. We visited in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, and some of those places are now our favourite places to go with the kids and the dog. However, we are still discovering new places on our doorstep.
Sometimes those pesky Facebook algorithms show me a real gem and a couple of weeks ago it suggested Church Gardens in Harefield. They were opening their walled gardens for the weekend so we took the opportunity to book tickets.
Church Gardens are next to St Mary’s Church in Harefield. They are the remains of the old Harefield Place estate and include walled gardens and an intriguing old brickwork arcade feature. I didn’t know the current owners ever opened their gardens to the public but we were really excited to visit.
Exploring Church Gardens, Harefield
The walled gardens are part of the old Harefield Place estate and are being restored and re-developed by the current owners. Church Gardens consists of three walled areas; the kitchen garden, a smaller courtyard behind the main house, and a much larger area comprising of a nuttery/orchard.
We parked by the church and walked round to Church Gardens. We walked through a little entrance way and into the first walled garden outside the house. It was all set up for tea and cake! The children wanted to stop straight away but we carried on through the second walled garden into the third and largest walled garden. This was full of mature trees, a brick arcade and the start of a huge pond (freshly dug!).
This was the original orchard and nuttery and also had the remains of an old brick arcade. No-one is sure about the purpose of the arcade but it made the perfect backdrop for photos.
There is a small viewing platform in the corner which overlooks the middle walled garden which has been laid out with paths and flower beds, a greenhouse, sculptures and lots of different planting areas.
It was really lovely to explore the area and the children enjoyed all the different levels and corners of the garden. We loved the greenhouse full of chillies, the re-used organ pipes used as fencing and the wild meadow.
Despite the day being quite overcast the garden was colourful and vibrant. It was also really inspiring and gave me a few ideas of plants and flowers for our own garden.
When we had finished looking around we stopped off for some tea and delicious homemade cake.
Church Gardens is a lovely place to visit. Fingers crossed for another open garden day soon so we can see the garden during another season.
You may be interested in other places to explore near Harefield: