Mount Vernon Garden at the new American Garden near Bath

Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh will officially open a new American Garden near Bath following a £2m investment that includes 12,000 additional plants.

Live music and historical characters will give a flavour of life in 18th century Virginia at the project’s launch at the American Museum and Gardens on Saturday, 15th September.

A natural amphitheatre that will enable the museum to host concerts and other events is being built as part of the scheme.

Public entry to the new garden will be free on the day under the Heritage Open Days scheme, but group discounts are available at other times.

About the garden

Designed by Washington DC-based landscape architecture firm Oehme van Sweden, the garden will feature many native US plants including trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs and will follow the free-form style made famous by the firm’s founders, Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden.

There will be a new ticket office and gardens along with an accessible path providing a winding way through the new features. The work of renowned international sculptor Angela Connor will also feature, with the siting of six larger-than-life portraits of key figures in American history.

Museum director Richard Wendorf said: “We’re constantly seeking new and inspiring ways to showcase American history. Thanks to the generosity of our friends in the UK and US, the New American Garden will extend the experience beyond the doors of our period rooms and galleries.

“As an American, I’m so pleased visitors will have the opportunity to explore so many wonderful plants from my homeland.”

Head gardener Andrew Cannell said: “This is a hugely exciting project with 12,000 new plants thoughtfully arranged in bold, naturalistic swathes. Visitors in September will see the garden at its very beginning and over the years can return to watch it grow and develop into something very special.”

Unique collection

•    The American Museum & Gardens opened to the public at Claverton Manor near Bath in 1961 and is the only museum outside the United States to showcase the decorative arts of America.

•    The permanent collection includes more than 200 historic American quilts, exceptional pieces of Shaker furniture, Native American objects and hundreds of historical maps of the New World from the 12th century to the Renaissance.

•    The manor house is set within extensive grounds – which include an arboretum of American trees and expansive views across the Bath skyline – and has a café an orangery for visitors.

To book a group visit call 01225-460503 or visit