About Upton House and Gardens, Banbury
Upton House is a honey-coloured country house with dramatic terraced gardens and world-renowned art collection. The 1930s home of Lord and Lady Bearsted.
Before the Bearsted’s, the garden’s main purpose was to provide food for the house, with few thoughts of pleasure and recreation.
Arriving with fresh ideas, enthusiasm and ample resources, Lady Bearsted set about improving the garden for leisure and pleasure. She commissioned Kitty Lloyd-Jones to advise on designs and planting.
Lloyd-Jones was one of the first professional female garden designers. She was the daughter of a doctor and held a degree in horticulture from Reading in 1924. She also had her own nursery business. These ensured she was eminently qualified to reinterpret the spaces according to Lady Bearsted’s wishes.
Although a little overgrown, due to the current limitations, when you visit the gardens you can still see her influence in many areas – the soft planting, strong colours and fashionable style.