Ragley Gardens occupy 10 hectares and surround the magnificent Ragley Hall.
Although the 170 hectares of parkland were designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716– 1783) during the 18th century, little is known about the gardens prior to 1873. However, it is thought that the Capability landscape came right up to the Hall itself until garden designer and outstanding horticulturist Robert Marnock (1800-1889) enclosed the present 10 hectares as pleasure grounds, planting them up with trees and shrubs around meandering path ways and created a formal Victorian flower garden on the west side of the hall.
The bare bones of Marnock’s late 19th century garden remain in evidence today and have matured into a rich palette for nature with mature trees predominating throughout, producing a strong soil for new developments.
An important aim in the management and maintenance of the gardens is to optimise habitat and food resources for insects, birds and small mammals. The result is a garden in which traditional horticultural features incorporate, and exist alongside, valuable wildlife habitat.
The success of this naturalistic approach demonstrates that it is possible to maintain the horticultural interest and aesthetic appeal of a garden, without compromising native flora and fauna or limiting the biodiversity necessary for a healthy garden.