Download a copy of the Festival of Open Gardens booklet here.

Swerford is a charming village on the River Swere occupying a secluded valley. It is mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086. It’s a village in two parts with a stretch of open countryside separating them. The parish church is believed to have been founded in the 13th century and is a prominent feature, near to which is the site of Swerford Castle dating from the 12th century.
Proceeds will be split evenly between Katharine House Hospice and The Friends of St Mary’s (an organisation set up to finance the repairs to the village church)

  • Dogs allowed on a lead
  • Free car parking
  • Teas and home-made cakes will be served at Swerford Park and in the Village Hall
  • Plant sales (locally grown)

Tombola in the grounds of Lands Farmhouse

Raffle with prizes of a gardening or local interest theme
Entry £6 per day (under 12s free)
Admission to all gardens

Swerford is four miles north-east of Chipping Norton, just off the A361.

Flower Festival at St Mary’s Church

To celebrate British Flowers Week, St Mary’s will host a festival showcasing British flowers and floral designers, bringing together local and internationally famous skills to start off British Flower Week with a bang. It will be a unique and colourful contrast and collaboration between the professionals and the local villagers. Stephen Woodhams lives in Swerford and will be orchestrating the festival, and creating a garlanded entrance arch to the church.

Talk: Garden designs by Stephen Woodhams

Stephen is a garden designer and a multiple Chelsea Gold Medal winner, offering clients bespoke outdoor spaces which are functional yet beautiful.

Talk: Managing one of London’s largest gardens by Stephen Crisp

Stephen has been head gardener at Wingfield House (the US Ambassador’s London residence) for 30 years, which, incidentally, is the second largest garden in London after Buckingham Palace.


The original garden began around a quarry surrounded by mature trees and woodland plants. A walled garden encloses a diverse range of herbaceous plants broadly themed in colour and textures. The parterre has a calm, enclosed feel with green and white plants. Wildflower meadows around the house and garden have grass walkways and are sheltered by native woodland trees.
By kind permission of Messrs Osborn & Wellard

Lane Cottage

The house is encircled by garden in four sections, with the main garden dominated by a large walnut tree. Over the last three years, extensive pruning has increased light levels and allowed redevelopment within the existing layout. Planting densely in the local cottage style continues.
By kind permission of Mr and Mrs Haigh

The Old Rectory

The Walled Garden was designed in 2014 by Fi Carlton-Paget of Little Tew. Eight mixed-use beds have been created, the asymmetry of the plot being ironed out by a grass border that is planted with spring bulbs and pear trees. Fig trees are planted to the west wall, and an Indian bean tree to the east. There is a row of pleached hornbeams and a new greenhouse.
By kind permission of Mr and Mrs Radford

The Yews

Mixed shrub and perennial beds lie near the house, with a small stream meandering down to a pond. Beyond the main lawn is a woodland area planted in 2005, with specimen trees complimenting those more established. Recent work includes the box parterre, the kitchen garden and the box ball, topiary yew and cloud clipped Scots Pine in the front flower bed, and a gravel garden around the fire pit.
By kind permission of Mr and Mrs Ford

The Old Cottage

The newly designed garden of this 400-year-old listed building is open plan with a large selection of cottage garden plants within shaped wide borders. Whilst it is only three years old, you will enjoy the variety and colour of the planting along with the lush green lawn.
By kind permission of Mr and Mrs Chubb

Myrtle Cottage

Built in 1896, the workman’s cottage and garden (to the front and west side) was acquired four years ago. There are lovely far-reaching views down into the village towards the church. This garden, in typical cottage style, has mixed shrubs, old fashioned roses, and potted plants including lilies and cannas.
By kind permission of Messrs Esmail and Woodhams

Swerford Park

The Grade 2 listed Georgian house set in extensive parkland is half a mile from the entrance and provides spectacular views overlooking a wooded valley with a lake linked by small waterfalls. Herbaceous borders at the front and to the east of the house. The lime and beech avenues to the north and west are over 130 years old.
By kind permission of Mr and Mrs Law


This garden is steadily being rejuvenated to become the owners’ ideal and typical English cottage garden. Visitors are rewarded with wonderful views over the Swere valley. The intention, with additional landscaping and planting, is to develop something that is simple yet functional and peaceful.
By kind permission of Mr and Mrs Haddon

Lands Farmhouse

Whilst the general layout and boundaries haven’t changed over the last 25 years, most of the individual elements have evolved, with the Yew tree remaining a magnificent focal point. Almost all the beds have been replanted to provide a variety of colours and textures throughout the year, and a home for nesting birds.
By kind permission of Mr and Mrs Campion