Iford is best known for its Grade I internationally listed Gardens, designed during the early part of the 20th century by the garden architect Harold Peto. He lived at Iford from 1899 until his death in 1933 during which time he built up an extensive collection of artefacts, brought back from his travels abroad. His great love of the Italianate style is plainly evident at Iford, where flowers occupy a subordinate place amongst the more structural elements of cypress, statuary, broad walks and pools.
A number of plants of particular interest can be found at Iford: standard Wisteria sinensis blossoms across much of the front of the house and up flights of steps linking the terraces (particularly good in late May); Phillyria latifolia; Buxus sempervirens grows in wild tree form in the woods above the house and is extensively used in the gardens as a structural plant; Cupressus sempervirens; Hemerocallis citrina, the scented day-lily; naturalised Martagon lilies.
In addition to his planting and structural work, Peto also created a cloister, his "Haunt of Ancient Peace", where he displayed many of his treasures. Today this building is used as an intimate venue for opera and other musical events during the summer months. Iford Manor was the recipient of the Historic Houses Association/Christies Garden of the Year Award in 1998.
The roof spaces of Iford Mill Barn are used as a summer breeding roost by Greater Horseshoe Bats, one of only 14 known roosts for this species in England. This is in fact the second largest of the known English breeding roosts, with over 250 individual Greater Horseshoes recorded each summer. Because of this, the buildings and a small area of land surrounding them (0.4 hectares in total) were notified as a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1996. Although the manor itself is in Wiltshire, both bat breeding sites are in Bath and Northeast Somerset, and so fall within English Nature's Avon Area of Search.