English garden in full bloom

Spend your time in some of the nation’s best gardens
Image: Yolanta

Did you know that the gardens at Chatsworth are being transformed? Have you always wanted to immerse yourself in the jungle at The Lost Gardens of Heligan? Visiting gardens is something of a national occupation for us Brits. And with good reason, because here in the UK we have some of the most beautiful stately homes, gardens, and parks to be found anywhere. To give you a taste of the best of the best gardens, here we present our pick of bloggers who review gorgeous gardens – enjoy. 

Susan Rushton

The Dorothy Clive Garden with a laburnum arch

Magical – the Dorothy Clive Garden’s laburnum arch in all its glory
Image: Susan Rushton

A laburnum arch in full flower? You’ll have to time your visit just right if you want to see the one at the Dorothy Clive Garden in Shropshire. Garden, nature, and photography enthusiast, Susan Rushton just missed it in 2015, but saw it in all its glory this year – and has this beautiful photograph to prove it.

Think rhododendrons are a little too showy? Check out Susan’s incredible photography – she used to think so, but not any more. Her visit to this atmospheric garden proved to her that: “rhodis can be as ethereally lovely as any plant you’ll find in a shady spot.

The Green Fingered Blog

Abbey House Garden – clever use of planting makes the most of the ruin
Image: The Green Fingered Blog

‘Borrowing the landscape’ is a well known garden design trick, but they way it’s done here is cleverer than most.” So says Paul at The Green Fingered Blog. His visit to Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury in Wiltshire just goes to prove how visiting professionally designed gardens can help provide the inspiration you need to get the most out of your garden at home.

At Abbey House, it’s the planting that leads the eye to the Abbey ruins next door that has Paul excited. And then there’s the use of focal points and the curve of the lawn. We can’t all live next door to a spectacular ancient ruin, but we can benefit from this blogger’s beautifully considered Abbey House Gardens masterclass.

Pumpkin Beth

The Victoria Garden, Farnham
Photo © David960 (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Isn’t a peaceful retreat at the heart of a busy town centre, exactly what every shopper needs? In Farnham – there is just such a place. The Farnham Swimming Baths Trust is a charitable organisation that has created a truly magical garden from the town’s derelict Victorian outdoor swimming pool.

With mosaic hopscotch for the children, and for the adults, rose-covered arches and sculptures to enjoy – there really is something for everyone at the Victoria Garden. As for Pumpkin Beth – a self-confessed “gardening evangelist”, she grows the best organic pumpkins around!


Lost Gardens of Heligan from Haarkon

The nearest you’ll get to a jungle in the UK – the Lost Gardens of Heligan
Image: Haarkon

It’s probably one of the most romantic names for a garden imaginable – The Lost Gardens of Heligan – in deepest, darkest Cornwall. They’re actually not that lost, according to India and Magnus of Haarkon – in fact they’re very much found. All the same, expect to discover “the closest we’ve been to an outdoor jungle in this country”.

Haarkon is all about celebrating “people, processes and the often-overlooked details of life”, and the result is a completely unique blog experience which features some truly incredible photography from all around the world. Thinking of making the trip to Cornwall’s most famous lost garden? Find out what lies in store right here.

Garden Visit

Visit Sandy Lodge to discover how to make your garden more bird-friendly
Image: E Gatehouse

Take a stroll around a wildlife garden in the heart of Bedfordshire. The grounds of Sandy Lodge, the home of the RSPB, take the concept of bird-friendly to a level you won’t find elsewhere, and so they’re well worth a visit for anyone interested in tempting bird life to their patch.

Garden Visit is a superb resource for anyone interested in exploring UK gardens and parks – and has plenty of information about far flung botanical treats too. A site where you’ll find concise reviews along with opening times and directions, Garden Visit is a must for gardeners everywhere.

The Frustrated Gardener

Visit Cornwall’s Morrab Gardens to see sub-tropical plants flourish!
Image: Giz Edwards

Walking towards Morrab House one passes through a damp glade filled with enormous tree ferns,” says The Frustrated Gardener, Dan. Morrab Public Gardens in Penzance are testament to the Victorians’ obsession with collecting, there being a sizeable ensemble of sub-tropical plants gifted by some of Cornwall’s most famous plant collectors.

Well worth a look if coastal gardening is your yen – Dan himself gardens a seaside plot in Broadstairs, Kent, and his own efforts are well worth a look. The highlight of Dan’s visit to Morrab? “Succulents, including the mighty Agave Americana, opuntias, aloes and aeoniums.

The Chatty Gardener

Chatsworth House from The Chatty Gardener

Chatsworth in all its glory as the transformation of the gardens begin
Image: The Chatty Gardener 

Get the lowdown on the Chatsworth House transformation. It’s a work in progress says The Chatty Gardener, Mandy, but you can already catch a glimpse of how it’s going to look when complete. These alterations will be the “biggest since changes by Joseph Paxton more than 200 years ago.”

Exciting times – the developments at the great Derbyshire estate are well worth discovering for yourself. Four new glades and a bog garden are just two of the planned works, says Mandy, a dedicated gardener and 2018 PPA Garden Journalist of the Year.

Kevin Gelder

The stunning hot border at Renishaw
Image: Kevin Gelder

Looking for inspiration for your summer herbaceous borders? Take a turn around the gardens of Derbyshire’s Renishaw House with gardener, blogger, and writer, Kevin Gelder. Full of pinks, purples and blues, the Renishaw borders are “almost overwhelmingly beautiful”, crescendoing from the lawn-edge planting to the yew hedges behind.

You’ll also find a sparkling “white garden”, as well as a perfectly stunning hot border featuring nasturtiums, white buddlejas, roses and clematis. And before you leave, Kevin says, do stop to admire the statuesque lilies which, planted alongside roses, are a scent sensation not to be missed.

Carrots and Calendula

Ruined Nymans in its autumn splendour
Image: Carrots and Calendula

How about some theatrical beauty? Overlooking the South Downs, Nymans, replete with romantic ruins, must be one of the loveliest gardens to visit any time of year. Catch it in summer for its blazing borders, or go there during the autumn when you’ll be rewarded with beautiful salvias offset against the flame colours of the trees in the background.

A serious fire ravaged Nymans during the late 1940s, but the family still live in the usable part of the house. A visit should include a browse around the second-hand bookshop and – of course – the plant shop. When she’s not visiting gardens, Ciar of Carrots and Calendula cultivates a sunny suburban plot in East Sussex.

The garden gate is open

Wander the paths of this extraordinary healing garden in the heart of Chelsea
Image: The Garden Gate is Open

Now for a “remarkable garden originally created in 1673 by the Apothecaries in which to grow medicinal plants.” When Julia, the blogger behind The Garden Gate is Open had a few hours to spare during a visit to London, she decided to call in at the Chelsea Physic Garden – four acres of calm in the heart of the busy metropolis.

Look out for beautiful woven sculptures by Tom Hare, a stunning collection of cacti, a fernery, and much more. And if you’d like to know more about the wonderful plantings at this historic garden, an audio tour will keep you informed as you wander. This blog is full of wonderful gardens to visit – take a look and you’ll discover some gems.

Did we miss one of your favourite blogs or gardens to visit? Drop us a line via our Facebook page and we’ll try to feature it next time.

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