Millennium Garden

Spellbinding Norfolk garden celebrates 20 years

“Pensthorpe remains one of the best places to see Oudolf’s work on a large scale…” The Telegraph, 4th July 2020.


The Millennium Garden is many things: breathtaking, creative, colourful, meditative and restorative. It’s also 20 years old, having been planted to launch during the summer of the Millennium.

Offering a lush tapestry of colour and texture, this one-acre contemporary landscape is a stunning cascade of mixed perennials and grasses, designed by world-famous Dutch plants man and garden designer, Piet Oudolf.

Overall, the effect is a wild, meadow-style landscape which transcends the gap between nature reserve and statement garden.

The bold, colourful drifts and naturalistic planting style make the Millennium Garden particularly popular with both garden and wildlife enthusiasts, flourishing with colourful butterflies and insects during the spring and summer months and providing essential nesting materials and seeds for birds throughout winter.

This fine Norfolk garden is worth a visit even after its mid-August peak, with the autumnal colours of the perennial foliage providing a rich spectacle well into the autumn and winter. Seedheads tinged with frost and mist hanging in the lily cove are, arguably, as magical as the garden in full summer bloom.
The garden features over 150 species of perennials, shrubs, grasses and climbers and Oudolf’s romantic and highly influential planting style is characterised by his ability to blend plants to mimic natural landscapes.

It was the first public UK space to be designed by a then emerging Oudolf, still relatively unknown in the country at that time. The Millennium Garden is his only original garden to have been revisited, redesigned and replanted a decade later (2010), by which point he was recognised as one of the world’s most prominent landscape designers.

Since Piet’s return, the garden has been developed once more with the addition of a stunning island and ‘Monet-style’ bridge, creating a looped walkway for visitors which seamlessly blends one part of the reserve with another.

Oudolf himself once said ‘The idea is that visitors to Pensthorpe discover the garden as a pleasant surprise’. It is this understated charm which has made it one of East Anglia’s greatest ‘secret gardens’ for the past two decades.

Be sure to see this glorious Norfolk garden in its landmark 20th year – book now

Millennium Garden Plant List

You can download a copy of the plant list here.