Pensthorpe Garden

Millennium Garden at Pensthorpe

Award-winning designer Piet Oudolf once said, ‘The idea is that visitors to Pensthorpe discover the Millennium Garden as a pleasant surprise.’ So get ready for eyebrow raises galore as you explore its many delights.

Bloomin’ marvellous

Packed with over 150 species of shrubs, grasses and climbers – not to mention the wildlife that visits throughout the seasons – Piet Oudolf’s ode to natural nuance is where you’ll find the very best perennial planting in the region.

Explore the garden

Part of Pensthorpe for over 20 years, the Millennium Garden gets better with every season. You’ll notice a rich tapestry of colour and texture, and naturalistic planting, blending the best of a statement garden with the more untamed parts of the reserve.

Launched during the summer of 2000, it was the first public space designed by Piet Oudolf in the UK. In 2010, he returned to Pensthorpe to redesign and replant it – the only time he has done so. In the years since, an island and Monet-style bridge have also been added.

 

What you’ll see

The garden’s packed with over 150 species of perennials, shrubs, grasses and climbers. And there’s plenty of wildlife too, including brightly coloured butterflies and insects in spring and summer, and busy birds in the winter mining it for nest-making materials. Even after its mid-August peak, rich autumnal colours and frosty seed heads make this garden a must-see throughout the year.

Meet the designer

The Millennium Garden is the botanical brainchild of world-famous Dutch designer Piet Oudolf. In the 1990s he was a driving force in the Dutch Wave or New Perennials movement – embracing prairie-style perennials and ornamental grasses. Now, Oudolf is a horticultural superstar, having designed some of the world’s most beloved contemporary gardens, including the 9/11 Remembrance Garden and High Line in New York and the Lurie Garden in Chicago. Among other accolades, in 2019 he was the recipient of the Society of Garden Designers Lifetime Achievement Award.