Houghton Lodge, an 18th century cottage Orné (rural retreat), and its gardens sit in scenic land sweeping down to the river Test. The garden and landscape is Grade II listed. Greenhouses, an herb garden, herbaceous borders, topiary peacocks and a dragon, wild flowers, and an orchid collection delight the visitor.
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The house, dating from the end of the 18th century, is thought to have served as a fishing lodge. Its purpose was to be rustic, not grand, at least from the outside. Many of these buildings had brick chimneys and thatched roofs, copying the local country style. Conservatories, french windows, terraces, and verandas were other popular architectural details. This architectural style was also reflected in gardens which were developed in the natural landscape style.
Visitors can enjoy an herbaceous border, home to spring bulbs, summer flowers, and dahlias, a woodland walk to a grotto, a chalk cob walled garden, a hydroponic greenhouse, and an orchid house. The nearby river Test provides wildlife walks.
The walled garden is home to peach and pear trees, an herb garden, rose arbour, a peony walk, strawberries, raspberries, asparagus beds, vegetables, sweetpeas, and old apple trees. Five acres of parkland contain plane and lime trees, a giant horse chestnut tree, and a herd of Highland cattle. The twelve acres of water meadows have been developed and are home to two alpacas.
Houghton Lodge Garden
At Houghton village, Hampshire
1.5 miles south of Stockbridge (A30) on minor road to Houghton village, SO20 6LQ
Tel. 0 1264 810 063
Open: March-end Sep, daily, Mon-Fri, 11am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm; house by appointment
Historic Houses Association member; weddings and receptions held; tea house
Website: Houghton Lodge Garden
Please note there is another HHA property Houghton Hall in Norfolk.
All photos courtesy Houghton Lodge.