Green Island Gardens

Green Island Gardens, Ardleigh: Hours, Address, Green Island Gardens Reviews: 4.5/5

Green Island Gardens
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Recommended in Great British Gardens 2019 and Essex Days out as well as visit Essex. Featured in Country Life Feb 2019, The English Garden Feb 2021 and Nov 2021. 20 acres of professionally designed gardens within woodland destroyed by the 1987 Hurricane. Now laid out with terrace, japanese garden, seaside garden, water gardens, gravel garden and extensive woodland gardens. It's a plantsman's paradise with a host of unusual plants in all seasons often borderline hardiness thriving in the unique island microclimate. Special highlights include, snowdrops, Bluebells and Azaleas in May and spectacular Autumn colour. National collections of Hamamelis, and Autumn and Winter flowering Camellias. Nursery, Tearooms, Events & Courses Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm, or dusk which ever is earlier.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
525 reviews
Excellent
382
Very good
95
Average
28
Poor
11
Terrible
9

Edward W
Chelmsford, UK19 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
Stumbled upon this gem tucked away on the outskirts of Colchester. Visited in mid April so plenty of colour on show and was lucky with the weather which always helps.

The gardens are part of someone’s private home and this isn’t your typical commercial tourist trap which is always a massive + to us.

Beautiful ponds which are well set out, well though out plant beds with the added bonus of wildlife.

The on-site nursery had a range of plants which are sensible priced and the owners were knowledgable (as expected) and helpful with assisting us find the plants we were after.

I can see why other reviews have said about the entrance sign and if you weren’t paying attention it could easily be missed.

Look forward to coming back in a few months to see how the gardens/flowers/colours have changed
Written April 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you very much for taking the time to leave us a review, we really do appreciate it I am glad you enjoyed the gardens, ponds and nursery, and we look forward to welcoming you back again later in the season
Written May 1, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JEH
2 contributions
May 2021 • Couples
This is one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever visited in the UK.
So many amazing beautiful views, and as many beautiful plants, planted in wonderful positions, creating stunning sights.
This is the creation and idea of a very talented lady.
The garden encompasses so much clever and artistic planting, it is wildlife friendly. The grass is cut to lawn areas and also left long for a safe natural habitat.
It is set in 20 acres of absolute beauty, tranquillity.
It gave me so enormous pleasure and peace.
A must for all garden and plant lovers, with an interesting history.
Written May 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your lovely review and kind words. It makes all the hard work worthwhile when people like yourself come and take such pleasure from the gardens and really appreciate them for what they are. Please visit us again
Written June 3, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JB from Colchester
2 contributions
May 2022
What a wonderful place, absolutely beautiful. The garden is split into two areas, the woodlands was stunning. There are mown pathways and beautiful shrubs, trees.... scents, colours...birds singing, it is just so lovely.
Naturally I was duty-bund to have a slice of cake in the cake, which was fresh and delicious.
There's few places where you feel so relaxed and a sense of peace going round.
Can't believe I'd never heard of this place before, having been in Colchester over 15 years!
It's not nearly as busy as the near-by Beth Chatto gardens, but much better than them, IMHO!
I think I'll buy a year ticket, as it is such a great place.
Written May 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you very much for taking the time to leave us such a lovely review, we really do appreciate it. I'm glad you enjoyed our visit, and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
Written May 25, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ML
Bury St. Edmunds, UK19 contributions
Nov 2021
Definitely a surprise and not what I was expecting. This has a plant nursery, tearooms, free parking and toilet, with gardens, pond and woodland areas. The gardens/ woodland wraps around private housing. It is 20 acres. The majority of this is woodland which is to the front.

It took about 1.5 hours to visit, inc visiting the cafe. Staff were friendly and polite.

The entry has gone up from prior reviews and is way too much for such a small venue. Woodlands are not too much of an attraction as these can be found all over Essex free of charge.

There was some nice autumn colour in the garden and range of trees. But overall it felt like I was walking around a friend's garden it was VERY small. By comparison there is another independent estate that charges less than £8 in Colchester, it is 1500 acres.

One star for autumn colour
One star for facilities (has cafe and parking)
One star for staff

Missing stars for being overpriced (and going up next year) and for not stating on website that the majority of the venue is woodland, and not 'structured professionally designed gardens'.

An average experience.
Written November 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank for your review. I am sorry you did not appreciate the full variety of unusual trees and shrubs within the woodland gardens which are around half of the total acreage of the gardens. As well as a huge selection of unusual and rare plants the woodland is also home to 2 national collections, 'Hamamelis' and 'Autumn and Winter flowering Camellias'. The woodland may not seem "designed " to the untrained eye but an enormous amount of knowledge and expertise is required to plant and maintain such a woodland in a way that it appears so natural. Sadly the woodland requires a lot of upkeep, as do the gardens and with the rising costs of everything has meant that in order to cover our costs our admission prices have had to go up too. We are a non profit organisation and the garden is opened to the public so that others can share and enjoy the gardens here and not in order to make a profit.
Written November 30, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Neha M
1 contribution
May 2022 • Family
Green island gardens is extremely beautiful and very inspirational! I loved walking around and seeing the displays. I even bought a few plants and was able to get advice about how best to look after them.

I took my brother who is in a wheelchair, it was easy to get around - however if wet I’d probably recommend waiting for a dry day if you are a wheelchair user.

The cafe was fantastic, lovely sandwiches and cakes!
Written May 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you very much for taking the time to leave us a review, we really do appreciate it I am glad that you and your brother enjoyed the gardens, we pride ourselves in being wheelchair friendly We look forward to your next visit.
Written May 3, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

campingmol
Colchester, UK11 contributions
Apr 2021 • Couples
I am a member here and must say my membership is such a blessing. I visit often with various friends or solo or with my other half. Fiona is so lovely and incredibly knowledgeable. The gardens have so many interesting and unusual plant, there is always something of interest no matter what time of year. When Covid allows we have coffee, cake or lunch which is always good. A simple menu but that's fine by me.
The nursery carries many if the plants in the garden and it's rare I leave without some little treasure.
I'm so lucky to have this on my door step. Membership is a must for me and in my opinion really good value I use it so much!
Highly recommend to all, gardeners, walkers and folk that just enjoy having somewhere lovely to wander with friends.
Written May 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review. We value our season ticket holders highly because they always appreciate the gardens throughout the seasons. Look forward to seeing you again soon
Written May 6, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Claire
4 contributions
Jul 2020 • Family
Lovely few hours spent wandering the beautiful gardens and enjoy lunch and cake on the terrace, with a good selection of gluten free options to choose from (the scones were fabulous). There was a great selection of plants for sale in the nursery, all at reasonable prices. We enjoyed our afternoon out so much we purchased a pass so we can visit at no extra cost for the rest of the season
Written July 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review, we really do appreciate it. I am glad you enjoyed your visit , and particularly the gluten free scones! We look forward to seeng you again soon.
Written July 8, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carolyn B
1 contribution
Oct 2020 • Friends
This garden is beautiful. Islands of mixed herbaceous plants and ornamental trees and shrubs are placed under large trees with grassy footpaths around them. Dotted amongst the flower beds are fairy tale miniature houses and structures to climb on. There is a pond with waterlillies and a wooden bridge taking you to a sheltered place to sit. Stunning scarlet acers placed in pots give the feel of a Japanese garden.
The plants everywhere were carefully placed to give maximum colour and contrasting shape and form. There was much to see on this October day and I will be interested to visit in winter and spring. There is a cafe and nursery with a large selection of unusual plants.
Written October 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review, we really do appreciate it. I am lad you enjoyed your visit and we look forward to welcoming you back at a different time of year.
Written October 12, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bridget a
1 contribution
Oct 2020
I visited the gardens and nursery last Sunday. I bought some fine looking hellebores and then visited the gardens. They were looking glorious in their autumnal colours. They are quite extensive and contain a variety of habitats - a lake, woodland, herbaceous borders, seaside garden - I had a lovely walk round and came away with lots of ideas for my own garden.
Written October 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review, we really do appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed your visit, and we hope to see you again soon
Written October 28, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

June F
1 contribution
Mar 2022
I found Green Island Gardens purely by chance, however I also discovered a beautiful and peaceful little hidden gem. I highly recommend adventuring off the beaten track to discover it for yourself. Fiona and Alex were extremely friendly and welcoming and I felt I was amongst friends.
Written March 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
I am so pleased you discovered our "Hidden Gem" and enjoyed it. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
Written March 18, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Green Island Gardens

Green Island Gardens is open:
  • Tue - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM