The Gilded Gardens of the National Trust’s Cliveden Estate
New for spring 2019, the National Trust’s Cliveden presents ‘The Gilded Gardens’; a celebration of the thousands of daffodils popping up across the estate.
The namesake, ‘Gilded Gardens’, is inspired by the 23¾ carat gold leaf gilded gates on the South Terrace, inside which a display of rarely seen daffodil varieties fill large terracotta pots on tiered stands. Visit the estate, located in Maidenhead, Berkshire, throughout March and April, any day from 10am to 5.30pm, to see the spectacle unfold.
In 1895 William Waldorf Astor commissioned lavish gold gates and grilles to adorn his showpiece South Terrace and Sounding Chamber beneath it. Now, 120 years later and after a recent coating of 23¾ carat gold leaf, the gates and grilles sit glimmering right at the heart of the house. Inspired by these gilded gates and the carpet of golden spring daffodils which cascade in front of them, ‘The Gilded Gardens’ was envisioned.
Throughout the formal gardens and woodlands, Cliveden boasts 20 different identified daffodil varieties. As part of The Gilded Gardens celebration, a further 57 new varieties have been introduced, some of which are choice varieties you can see exhibited behind the gilded grilles in the South Terrace Ferneries. As well as the new introductions, the Trust has also increased Cliveden’s already established daffodil population by planting a further 5,000 bulbs of the wild native Narcissus pseudonarcissus.
Conservation of native British flowers has become increasingly important given the threats from climate change, new pests and diseases as well as the destruction of native habitats where a number of these plants originated. The new planting of daffodils at Cliveden is an example of how the National Trust is committed to preserving a true British herald of spring.
“Plants are among the most vulnerable of our assets, requiring just as much attention, protection and expertise in caring for them as the most fragile objects displayed indoors.” Mike Calnan, National Trust Head of Gardens.
To protect the daffodils from being trodden on or picked, Cliveden has created a self-guided ‘Gilded Gardens’ walking leaflet. The walk takes you on a journey past Blenheim Pavilion and on to the mansion house, all on hard standing paths. Leaflets are free of charge (usual admission charges to the estate apply) and can be picked up from the information centre.
The daffodils flower throughout March and April, meaning you can visit multiple times throughout spring and be able to enjoy different displays each time. You can purchase your favourite daffodil you may have spotted in the South Terrace Ferneries from the Cliveden plant centre to take home and enjoy year after year.
For National Trust news and further information about events at Cliveden visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden or call 01628 605069
Cliveden, Taplow, Maidenhead, Buckinghamshire, SL1 8NS
The Gilded Gardens
Throughout March and April, 10am – 5.30pm
Golden daffodils carpet the grounds of Cliveden’s vast gardens and woodlands the National Trust look after. New for this year, 57 different varieties have been introduced to estate, meaning the spectacle will be bigger and brighter than ever before. Pick up a free self-guided walking leaflet from the information centre to enjoy the daffodils from hard standing paths and without damaging the delicate plants.
Cliveden is open daily from 10am – 5.30pm. Admission is free for National Trust members or the 2019 Gift Aid admission prices are £16 per adult, £9 per child or a family ticket (up to 2 adults and 3 children) is £41.