5 Must See Gardens in the UK
Visiting one of the famous English gardens is probably a highlight for any keen gardener travelling around the UK. Many of these gardens are influenced by the 18th and 19th century botanical collectors, horticulturalists, and landscape artists, but interest in gardens today crosses all social boundaries and ages. Fortunately, England has a number of beautiful gardens; many offering something for people to see throughout the entire year. Here is a list of a few must-see spring gardens in the UK:
The large and diverse collection of plants at The Royal Horticultural Society's flagship Wisley garden is inspiring to any keen gardener. Alongside the plants and vegetables are stunning rose gardens and even a new state of the art glasshouse. For gardeners, a visit to the spring garden is great for gathering some practical ideas and tips. Model gardens offer plenty of guidance on growing under different circumstances and conditions; the cultivation techniques used are tried and tested.
The collection of plants has been developing for over one hundred years, is world famous and never disappoints, with something new to see at any time of the year. The gardens are spread over two hundred and forty acres in Woking, Surrey, only about an hour's drive from Central London. Wisley is a peaceful and lovely place to have a stroll and/or to pick up a great deal of important information on garden designs and cultivation techniques.
2. Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire
This garden attracts visitors for the beautiful surrounding views of the Vale of Evesham, as well as the impressive range of rare trees and shrubs. Hidden down a series of twisting country lanes, in the heart of the Cotswolds, Hidcote Manor itself is an arts and crafts masterpiece.
Designed and developed by a wealthy, eccentric American, turned naturalised British subject, Maj. Lawrence Johnson sponsored and participated in plant hunting expeditions all over the world. In doing so, he secured exotic and rare species for this wonderful garden. The garden features areas that feel 'room-like', with each having their own colours, species, and character. This is a must see for any gardening enthusiast.
3. Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire
This garden has been honoured with the title of World Heritage Site. Combined with Fountains Abbey, it makes up one of North Yorkshire's most rewarding visitor attractions. Visitors are able to wander through a medieval deer park, roam the remains of a 12th century abbey, and enjoy the tranquillity of elegant ornamental lakes. The 900-year-old Cistercian monastery is Britain's largest monastic ruin, while, remarkably, the Studley Royal Water Garden is the result of the life's work of just one man, John Aislabie.
In addition to the ornamental lakes, the Studley Royal Water Garden includes canals, waterfalls, scenic vistas, numerous 18th century ornamental temples, monuments, and statues. The Studley Royal is one of Britain's best surviving examples of a Georgian water garden.
4. Trelissick Garden, Cornwall
This is a National Trust managed garden and a little bit special. Located in Feock, Cornwall, the garden boasts tender subtropical plants that actually thrive in sheltered glades, while cypress trees and cedars tower over the immaculate lawns. Trelissick cultivates some of the rarest varieties of hydrangea, a plant often unfairly perceived as an undistinguished and everyday type of garden standby.
The tiered garden is at the head of the Fal Estuary, which allows one to take advantage of the stunning Falmouth Harbour views and the Carrick Road waterway.
5. Sissinghurst Castle Garden
One of the most romantic and the most visited gardens in England, the Sissinghurst Castle Garden was created by Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Sir Harold Nicolson. The garden is divided into different 'garden rooms', which offer intimate enclosed spaces, planted and styled in different ways. Each garden room gives one the feeling of an abundance of romanticism. Amongst these is the world-famous White Garden.
Traditional English cottage-garden flowers mingle with rare plants, offering sensual surprises at every turn and in the hidden corners of the garden. There is also an 1855 farmhouse, surrounded by gardens and 400 acres of farmland. This garden was first opened to the public in 1938, before being taken over by the National Trust in 1967.
If you've been inspired by reading about some of these great gardens, why not create your own little garden masterpiece?