Gardens + Flowers From the Real Downton Abbey

Tour the beautiful grounds and gardens of Highclere Castle and bring Downton Abbey floral inspiration to your home or wedding.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Colleen Amelia Photography

Photo By: Image courtesy of Weeks Roses

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Ben Rollins

Photo By: Image courtesy of Proven Winners

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle, the English manor that serves as backdrop for the PBS series Downton Abbey, is one of the most magnificent of England's stately homes. This working estate in the Hampshire countryside is home to modern-day members of the British aristocracy. The Victorian-era manor is 175 years old, contains around 30,000 square feet of living space and is currently maintained by a staff of 70.

British Rose

The British love of gardens, and also of roses, provides the atmopsheric backdrop and even some plotlines on Julian Fellowes' popular British drama Downton Abbey. The British love of gardening extends beyond the parameters of the show. Jim Carter, who plays the strict butler Carson on Downton Abbey, is a devoted gardener in his private time, whose wife gave him a greenhouse for his birthday.

Subdued Color Palettes

The floral arrangements featured in the 2014 season of Downton Abbey emphasize greens (as in this green anthurium and green santini) interwoven with subtle shades of yellow or white flowers.

Calla Lily

During her wedding to Matthew Crawley, Lady Mary carried a simple bouquet of calla lilies, flowers that epitomize the sensuous, clean influence of Art Nouveau and the shift from a Victorian to a post-Edwardian style.

Highclere House

The Highclere house—setting for the popular PBS drama Downton Abbey—is located near the town of Newbury in southeast England. The house has approximately 200 rooms, including more than 50 bedrooms and six separate entertaining spaces. Past houseguests have included actor Omar Sharif, film director Stanley Kubrick and numerous members of England's royal family.

Highclere House Gardens

The Highclere home is set among 6,000 acres of farmland with beautifully manicured gardens and numerous walking trails. The estate is valued today at more than $240,000,000. To help finance the monumental upkeep on the home and grounds, the owners rent it out for corporate events, weddings and other occasions. The site fee for the rental is around $23,000. With the success of the series Downton Abbey, the owners have also opened the home for tours during a portion of the year. Visitors, who number more than 60,000 annually, have come from as far as New Zealand, Russia and China.

'Anna's Promise' Downton Abbey Rose

This sumptuous grandiflora rose was created by Tom Carruth, introduced by Weeks Roses and named for Downton Abbey's head housemaid, the lovely and gentle Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt). The rose's blend of golden tan and pink is derived from a hybrid of 'Voodoo' and 'About Face' and boasts a fruity, slightly spicy fragrance.

Heaven's Gate Folly

The grounds of Highclere are scattered with follies—charming buildings constructed for decoration and often found in classic British gardens. Here is the view of Highclere through the imposing Heaven’s Gate folly.

Soft, Lovely Wisteria

After the fussiness and clutter of the Victorian era, the turn to Edwardian and then Twenties style saw a more pared-down elegance, softer colors, simplicity of pattern and a preference for natural themes. Wisteria exemplifies the post-Victorian era's new elegant simplicity.

Highclere Castle

The stunning gothic fairy tale facade of Highclere Castle was designed by Sir Charles Barry. Highclere's magnificent sweeping lawns were landscaped by Lancelot "Capability" Brown, probably England's most famous landscape designer who designed over a hundred British parks and estates including Hampton Court Palace.

White Roses

Clean, simple lines typify the floral arrangements featured in the grand public rooms and elegant private quarters of Downton Abbey.


Hydrangeas were a common shrub grown in English gardens of the 1920s and '30s.

Muscari Armeniacum

Traditional flowers like Muscari armeniacum, which began to appear in European gardens in the late 1800s, as well as roses, dahlias, freesia and lavender bloomed in English gardens from the late Victorian and through the post-Edwardian era.


Lush green ferns were a favorite foliage to mix in with flower arrangements in sublte pink, white and lilac tones in the Downton Abbey era.