To visit the Gardens, Gallery and House, you no longer need to pre-book a timed admission slot online (simply purchase gardens admission on arrival). Summer Late openings take place every Wednesday evening.
If you are visiting Hestercombe over the next couple of weeks (and you must) then make sure you head to the rotunda in the formal garden to 'smell spring'.
The walls of the rotunda are covered in a deciduous shrub called Chimonanthus praecox, also known as Wintersweet.
At this time of year it produces these small waxy flowers that look rather like a 1930's lampshade.
They are not the most beautiful flowers in the world but their scent is magnificent. The rotunda is such an clever place to grow them as the scent gets trapped within the circular walls so you just cant help but notice it.
Many winter flowering plants are heavily scented in order to make sure that they attract what little insect life there is at this time of year to pollinate them.
The Victorian shrubbery has been specifically planted with early spring flowers so come and take a look/sniff. And hurry, these flowers don't hang around long!