Ness is located on the Wirral, with fantastic views across the River Dee to North Wales. They were originally created by Arthur Kilpin Bulley. He was passionate about plants, especially new plants being introduced to European gardens from China, Tibet and Nepal.
Bulley outgrew his original garden by persuading diplomats and other travellers to send him back seeds of interesting plants. In 1898, he bought the land that makes up Ness, to build a new family home and larger garden.
He went on to sponsor many plant hunting expeditions and established Bees Nursery, so he could share these new introductions with gardeners across the country. Bees became a household name through its cheap packets of seeds, sold for decades at Woolworth’s. After his death in 1942, Bulley’s daughter Lois presented Ness to the University of Liverpool with an endowment of £75,000.
Since then, original areas like the Rock Garden have been reinvigorated and new areas such as the Water Gardens and Mediterranean Banks developed by our talented team of staff and volunteers. The gardens are also used by the University for research from plant science through to archaeology. This compliments our education programme for schools and adults using the incredible plants and landscape of the gardens.
Today, Ness Botanic Gardens offers something to visitors of all ages, regardless of which season they visit in. They run an events programme packed with family activities from star gazing to trails and crafts. The gardens are also a popular venue for weddings.
Our garden calendar begins with snowdrop displays in February and continues into spring with camellias, rhododendrons and magnolias. From early summer, the Victorian style vegetable garden – the Potager and 100 metres of herbaceous borders burst into life. Then there are the 4 hectares of wild flower meadows to enjoy that form the centre piece of the WilderNess project which brings wildlife to your doorstep with over 600 species of birds, mammals, bees, butterflies and other insects. Autumn brings fabulous shows of berries and colour from the garden’s varied collections of trees including a National Collection of Sorbus (rowans and whitebeams), and beautiful bark and foliage of birches and maples.
We look forward to seeing you soon, or to quote Arthur Kilpin Bulley; “Welcome friend and welcome stranger, welcome one and welcome all”.
Enjoy a delicious range of hot food, sandwiches, homemade cakes and coffees at The Garden Kitchen Cafe.
Full Address: Neston Road , Ness , Neston , Cheshire , CH64 4AY