The woodland garden is a surprising feature of Doddington Place Gardens as it is extremely unusual to find acid soil high up on the chalky North Downs.
At first sight one could be forgiven for thinking that the woodland garden was contemporaneous with the house. But it was only in the 1960s that it was created, following the discovery of three acres of deep acid loam, kept moist in the central section by underground springs.
Many acid-loving trees and shrubs have been planted, including camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas, an aralia, Davidia involucrata, Styrax japonicus, eucryphia and acers, as well as many bulbs and herbaceous plants.
We have recently been adding new plants to the woodland incuding several magnolias such as the delicately scented Magnolia wilsonii. Other plants include Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariessii’, Amelanchier Canadensis and Kalmia latifolia.
In late May/early June the woodland garden is at its most spectacular.
Sequoia gigantea, known in this country as Wellingtonia and in the United States as Washingtonia, were introduced into Britain in 1853 and soon became fashionable to plant. The Wellingtonias at Doddington date from this period and must have been planted by Sir John Croft. Over the last twenty years they have been underplanted with thousands of snowdrops.