haddon hall winter gardens

The winter gardens at Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, are just one of the hundreds of gardens to visit in the UK

Here’s your chance to take a stroll around some fabulous gardens without leaving the comfort of your home. We’ve scoured the web to come up with some intrepid garden adventurers – bloggers who like to get out and about – read on to find out where they’ve been.

Blackberry Garden

A quirky view back to the village from the gardens
Image: Blackberry Garden

Blogger Alison pauses at the delightful Italian village at Portmeirion. Built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the 1920s, the village nestles in the beautiful estuary of the River Dwyryd, in Gwynedd, is normally a tranquil spot, but when this garden blogger stayed there recently, another visitor, Storm Brian, was making his presence felt.

We holed up in our cottage, lit the log burner and waited for it to blow over”, says Alison. But not before she took some very atmospheric snaps of the village and the stunning woodland of Gwyllt, in which it’s set. The writer behind Blackberry Garden shares her life as a self-confessed gardening obsessive – check out her irritating plant of the month strand – Dahlia Waltzing Matilda is really annoying.

Carrots and Calendula

carrots calendula high weald

Kipling build this pond and path with the proceeds from his 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Image: Carrots & Calendula

Take a trip to Batemans, the Sussex home of the late Rudyard Kipling, with gardening writer Ciar and her three children who, all being under 10, she calls her “Little Weeds”. Ciar says while Batemans isn’t the biggest National Trust home, it’s always worth a visit.

The kids loved the fairy trail based on Arthur Rackham’s illustrations of Kipling’s fairy tales. Ciar says: “They were soon searching for pishogues, goblins and sprites and were delighted to discover a little fairy house under a Japanese Maple.”  With its yew hedges and winding paths, Ciar says it’s no wonder Kipling found inspiration to write there.

Writer in the Garden

writer in the garden phoenix garden

A haven at the heart of the city
Image: Writer in the garden

If you’re a Londoner, or visiting the Big Smoke, you’re sure to feel the need for some sanctuary from all the hustle and bustle of the capital. Luckily, novelist, blogger and one time Canterbury laureate, Sarah Salway, has found the perfect spot.

Sarah tells us the The Phoenix Garden is a minute off London’s Charing Cross Road and just two minutes away from Tottenham Court Road. If it’s anything like its photos, you’ll love it, and best of all, she says, it’s just across the road from a book shop, and so perfect for when you want to dip into a new read in peace.

Lou J Nicholls

lou j nicholls ulting wick

Visit the gorgeous Ulting Wick gardens in Essex
Image: Lou J Nicholls

More than a visitor, professional gardener and blogger Lou recently took up the challenge of becoming head gardener at Ulting Wick, an experimental private garden called Ulting Wick in the Chelmer Valley in rural Essex.

Created from the ruins of an old farmyard, the garden is part of the National Garden Scheme, but why wait for the next chance to visit in person when you can take a peek for yourself over at Lou’s blog? If her photos are anything to go by, you’ll fall in love with the place just as she has.

Out of my shed

Beautiful, formal box is under threat
Image: Out of my shed

If formality is your thing, check out writer Naomi Schillinger’s post in which she revisits a trip she took to Amsterdam some years ago – you’ll love her photos of immaculately trimmed box parterres which she says was a recurrent theme. Naomi blogs about box because there’s a problem we should all be aware of: Box blight.

If you’re worried about blight, or indeed caterpillars nibbling your box, Naomi offers some possible solutions. She says if all else fails, Ilex crenata (Japanese Holly) and Lonicera nitida are now being promoted by hedging companies.” Not sure? When Naomi visited Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, she was “really inspired by their parterres”.

Richard Jackson’s Garden

richard jackson

Opening your garden to the public? Go potty.
Image: Geoff Stonebanks

Instead of visiting other people’s gardens have you considered opening your own garden to the general public? If so, blog contributor, multi gardening-award winner Geoff Stonebanks has some tips to help you make it a success – his advice – go for lots of pots which are easily replaced if a plant dies or is destroyed by the weather.

Richard Jackson is a TV gardening expert of two decades experience – he currently appears on QVC – and his stable of top horticultural writing talent includes Telegraph gardening correspondent Jean Vernon, Chartered Institute of Horticulture’s Young Horticulturist of the Year in May 2016, Lawrence Wright, and many more.

The Garden Gate is Open

garden gate is open timber hill

Dancing statues provide a lightness to these formal gardens
Image: The garden gate is open

“Surrey despite being commuter belt is the county with the highest concentration of trees in the UK,” says the pen behind The Garden Gate is Open. No wonder a visit to National Garden Scheme venue, Timber Hill near Cobham revealed a treasure trove of mature trees, as well as many other wonderful plantings.

We particularly love this writer’s inclusion in their writeup of their visit to Timber Hill, the many toadstools they discovered – a rare delight which demonstrates just how fascinating fungi are. The Garden Gate is one blogger’s self-challenge to visit 90 gardens in 2017. Doubt they’ll do it? Timber Hill was visit number 85.

The Dahlia Papers

dahlia papers

Dazzling greens took this blogger’s breath away
Image: The dahlia papers

Tag along as writer and blogger Non Morris takes you to the National Trust’s magical Plas-yn-Rhiw on the Llŷn Peninsula. The run-down 17th century stone manor house and gardens were acquired by the unmarried Keating sisters, Eileen, Lorna and Honora at the outbreak of the World War Two.

When they bought it, the place was so overgrown that to view the house, the sisters had to climb through the window. Undeterred the Keatings slowly transformed and extended the gardens and grounds which now cover some 400 acres. “There is so much luxuriant green,” says Non, who was bowled over by the haunting beauty of the place – you will be too.

Do you blog about your garden visits? If so we’d love to hear from you – just drop us a line via our Facebook page.

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