The Garden

Few realise as they travel on the busy B3006 through the pretty village of Selborne, that behind the imposing frontage of Gilbert White’s House, ‘The Wakes’, lies beauty, tranquillity and history in 30 acres of ancient parkland and carefully restored gardens.

A seasonal window on the garden:

Visitors to this secret Hampshire garden marvel at the quirky features, glorious vistas and creative planting which are delightful whatever the season or weather.

Gilbert White was an experimental, keen and enthusiastic gardener and elements he designed include the wine-pipe seat, the cut-out statue of Hercules and two hahas plus the herb garden, kitchen garden and  ‘six quarters’. 18th century planting ensures that the garden has much to offer the true plantsman but it can be equally enjoyed for its tranquility, simple charm and beauty.

Head Gardener David Standing began work here in 1979 and imediately embarked on an ambitious project to uncover the original layout of the garden and recreate it. As no plan existed, David studied White’s journals, correspondence, household account books and a diary called ‘The Garden Kalendar’ in order to work out the garden design that White created, which had all but disappeared in the decades since his death.

A dedicated group of garden volunteers known affectionately as The Wakes Weeders, help David and his small team with all aspects of garden maintenance (new recruits always welcome!)


250 Years ago…

Latest extract from Gilbert White’s ‘The Garden Kalendar’ 250 years ago to the day.

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The Garden Blog

Now, for the first time, we are publishing extracts of the Wakes Weeders’ Newsletters in our monthly gardening blog. For the full Weeders’ Newsletter, you will have come and help out in the garden!

There is a wealth of knowledge hidden in the Wakes Weeders’ monthly newsletters, written by Head Gardener, David Standing. This newsletter archive (of over 30 years) plots David’s fantastic journey to re-discover Gilbert White’s garden. Extracts of this detailed archive may well be published here in the future, but for now we hope you enjoy these current extracts.

  • Garden Newsletter: February

    Welcome to a brand new year in Gilbert White’s Garden! Things are starting to grow already! It’s been quite a mild winter so far, apart from a few cold spells, and the bulbs are pushing through. Soil conditions are a little wet, but reasonably workable-weeding can, and has been

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  • Become an Antarctic Adventurer this Half Term at Gilbert White & The Oates Collections

    Antarctic Adventures

    Little explorers will be able to follow in the footsteps of the heroic Lawrence Oates this February half term. Gilbert White & The Oates Collections will be celebrating all things Antarctic from the 14th till the 22nd of

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  • Snowdrop Weekend

    Despite frosty mornings, the lengthening days reassure us that we can look forward to the arrival of spring. On gloomy winter days the sight of snowdrops pushing through frozen ground always lifts the spirits. At Gilbert White & The Oates Collections in Selborne, we are celebrating the

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  • Garden Newsletter: December

    The end of another year! Thank you all so much for your continued support! There’s still a lot of work to be done in the garden, and I know many of you are helping either decorate the house or during the Mulled Wine Weekend- yes, note weekend, it’s now,

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  • We would like to send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of our valued volunteer Carole Woods who died recently on 6th December 2014. Carole ran our quilting group for many years and, with her husband Laurie, was always an inspiring and enthusiastic supporter of the Museum

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  • Exclusive Winter Offer for Group Visits

    It’s often difficult to think of places to bring groups during the winter months, with the cold weather, money being tight after the Christmas period and many visitor attractions being closed from November to March. Gilbert White & The Oates Collections in the picturesque Selborne is a perfect winter

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  • Mulled Wine Weekend

    Visitors of all ages marvelled at the spectacular flower arrangements, supped a glass of complimentary mulled wine (or spiced berry cordial) and enjoyed a wide range of local Christmas entertainment as Gilbert White’s House played host to this year’s Mulled Wine Weekend. The event, expanded from last year due

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  • Garden Net
    When working in our heritage garden we always aspire to use 18th century methods. However, up until now we have occasionally slipped and used modern plastic netting to prevent bird damage in the Kitchen Garden. But no longer…

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  • Garden Newsletter: November

    We’ve had, so far, a glorious autumn- but the rains are now starting to come and we need to hurry on to get the garden up together before the more difficult winter weather sets in. We have had good attendances during the week but rather less at weekends: so

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  • Sundial Story

    Gilbert White’s Sundial stands, iconically in the centre of the stone Haha at his house, the Wakes. It was purchased, second hand, from Sarson house, Amport, near Andover, in 1761, for £2 and 7shillings. (£2.35p)  the brass dial plate cost an additional 16s 6d (82½p). The post was said

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Links to other 18th century gardens

Hampshire Gardens Trust and their Events

Painshill Park

Hinton Ampner Gardens