2016 is going to be an absolutely stunning year for gardening. Wherever you are in the UK, you’re guaranteed to be close to a garden that is worth a visit. Below is a list of some of our favourite gardens, which are sure to inspire the gardener in you this Spring.
London & The South
Minterne House – Dorset, Dorchester
These Himalayan themed gardens are laid out in a horseshoe, with a chain of small lakes, streams and waterfalls. Stunning features include rhododendrons and azaleas with an array of other plants, flowers and shrubs.
Great Dixter Gardens – Rye, East Sussex
These were the family home of gardener and gardening writer Christopher Lloyd. The gardens feature a dazzling spectrum of different colours, styles and natural landscapes.
Bury Court Gardens – Farnham, Surrey
Located in a small village near Surrey, these contemporary gardens are a thriving reserve of nature, vibrant landscapes and a collection of different plants, trees and flowers.
Sissinghurst Castle Garden – Cranbrook, Kent
A collection of colourful, abundant and exuberant landscapes that feature a variety of plants, trees and shrubs. The architectural planning involved in the gardens is simply exquisite, and the location has a rich and diverse history, once being a prison in the 1700s.
Wisley Gardens – Woking, Surrey
Possibly one of the greatest gardens in the entire world, with over 90 staff educating and informing visitors daily. The gardens contain a glasshouse with a variety of species, along with a range of other gardens in a multitude of styles. Image used courtesy of: RHS Wisley
Chelsea Physic Gardens – Chelsea, London
These gardens are among the oldest botanic gardens in London, founded in 1673 by the Society of Apothecaries for its apprentices to study healing arts. The gardens feature many exotic and tender plants that flourish due to London's warm microclimate, making them one of the UK's more tropical and colourful gardens.
Kew Royal Botanical Gardens – Richmond, Surrey
A tropical paradise, displaying a wide range of vibrant and exotic plants and habitats. The unique gardens display orchids in an assortment of dazzling colours. The treetop walkway and sprawling Victorian Temperate House* are spectacular features which should not be missed. * Please note: The Temperate House is currently undergoing restoration and is closed until 2018.
Denmans Garden – Fontwell, Arundel
The Denmans Gardens are unique in their focus on form and texture, as well as colour. These Gardens are particularly notable for how they maximise space, with an innovative layout making the garden seem much larger than it actually is.
Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens – Near Weymouth, Dorset
The Abbotsbury Gardens started off in 1765 as a kitchen garden for the nearby castle, but since it has developed into a vast 30-acre garden brimming with rare and exotic plants.
Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden – St Ives, Cornwall
These gardens provide a remarkable insight into one of Britain’s most unique twentieth century art sculptors. These gardens seamlessly combine modern art with nature to create striking and unusual displays.
Trebah Gardens – Nr Falmouth, Cornwall
A year-round experience which is alive with variety and colour. The gardens are a timeless classic, and is certainly worth a visit in any season.
Tresco Abbey Gardens – Tresco, Isles of Scilly
This botanical garden boasts 17 acres of exotic plants from all over the world, situated on one island dating back to the 19th Century. The legacy of the island can also be found in a collection of shipwrecked figureheads. A visit here will surely be the stuff of fantasies.
Hidcote Gardens – Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire
These gardens reflect the true beauty of the Great British countryside. A maze of narrow pathways leads to a number of secret gardens and magnificent vistas, perfect for both relaxation and inspiration.
Snowshill Manor and Garden – Broadway, Gloucestershire
The Snowshill Manor house is the perfect place to unwind and explore hidden vistas, quiet corners and unexpected delights. This is truly one of the most tranquil locations in the United Kingdom.
Westbury Court Garden – Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire
The gardens feature a variety of different canals, clipped hedges, vegetable plots and fruit trees that represent the full nature of the Great British countryside.
Cothay Manor – Nr.Wellington, Somerset
The romance of Cothay lies in its age and the atmosphere that surrounds it. The land around the manor was once rented out in the middle ages and the twelve acres of magical garden are rich with thousands of white tulips that appear each Spring. A genuinely natural and beautiful garden that is certainly worth a visit.
Hestercombe Gardens – Taunton, Somerset
The Hestercombe Gardens is home to over 50 acres of Victorian shrubbery which represent over 3 centuries of garden design. This creates a truly breathtaking view, one that every garden enthusiast should experience if they can.
Stourhead Gardens – Mere, Wiltshire
The Stourhead gardens are on a 2,650-acre estate known as much for its wildlife as its plant life. The ground, farmlands and woodlands remain mostly untouched, offering an insight into the true natural state of the UK landscape.
The Coleton Fishacre – Kingswear, Devon
Originally the country home of the D’Oyly Carte family, the estate is the most evocative of country homes, with an aesthetic inspired by the Arts and Crafts aesthetic from late 19th Century Europe. The entire estate is imbued with 1920s elegance.
Iford Manor Estate – Bradford On Avon, Wiltshire
The Iford estate has been occupied since the Roman times, surrounded by vast natural woodlands and gardens. The estate has a special touch that makes it unique, a perfect place to relax and enjoy the tranquillity of the British landscapes.
The Courts Garden – Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire
The charming garden at The Courts shows the English countryside at its very best, with peaceful water gardens and herbaceous borders surrounding the entire estate. The gardens deploy an imaginative and creative use of colours and planting, and is a perfect source of inspiration for your very own garden.
Stone House Cottage Gardens – Worcestershire, Near Kidderminster
Stone House Cottage Gardens is a nursery that specialises in shrubs, herbaceous plants and climbers, with a host of different displays for all interests.
Belvoir Castle – Grantham, Leicestershire
Featuring a variety of gardens, Belvoir Castle's vast grounds are home to a multitude of different themes, plants, trees and flowers. While visiting Belvoir you will be greeted with a selection of rich, aromatic scents as well as striking landscapes. One of the must-do visits this year in Leicestershire.
Rousham House and Gardens – Bicester, Oxfordshire
The gardens offer a unique experience, being one of the only places to be left almost untouched, as William Kent himself originally intended. The architecture alone makes it a highly sought-after destination.
Buscot Park – Faringdon, Oxfordshire
Buscot Park and Faringdon Collection grounds are a truly magnificent sight to behold, with a mix of natural beauty and man-made contemporary design. A truly great experience, don’t miss out if you’re in the area!
Biddulph Grange Gardens – Biddulph, Staffordshire.
This amazing Victorian garden was created by the one James Bateman with a wonderful assortment of plants. These gardens will take you on a trip across the globe, from Italy to Egypt, to China and beyond. Image used courtesy of National Trust, Biddulph Grange Gardens.
Boughton Gardens – Kettering, Northamptonshire
Boughton Gardens are one of the UK’s best-preserved gardens, featuring a grand country park and a magnificent stately home. Visitors are treated to a magnificent range of gardens and landscapes, with the house boasting a collection of fine art, furniture, tapestries and much more.
East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens – Norwich, Norfolk
East Ruston’s Old Vicarage Gardens feature impressive gardens in many styles throughout the grounds. These grounds truly display Norfolk’s serene natural beauty.
Beth Chatto Gardens – Colchester, Essex
Since the 1960s these gardens have been transformed from an overgrown wasteland into an informal space in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscapes. The gardens are a great inspiration to any budding gardener.
Bressingham Steam & Gardens – Diss, Norfolk
Adrian Bloom offers six distinct gardens across 17 acres available to be explored, with a particular focus on the Dell & Foggy Bottom Gardens. The adjoining steam museum showcases narrow gauge railways and iconic Gallopers.
Sandringham House – Norfolk
Perhaps the finest of the Royal gardens – set across 24 hectares. Extensively updated and designed over the years, there are formal and informal gardens, lakes, islands and a grotto. Located approximately 9 miles North East of King’s Lynn.
Ickworth House – Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
A Georgian Italianate palace which features an imposing rotunda, the grounds of Ickworth House include a garden tree walk and peaceful Italian style gardens, pathways and lawns.
Crarae Garden – Argyll, Bute & Loch Lomand
One of Britain’s finest examples of an exotic Himalayan-style woodland garden. The site is dramatic in its look but has a serene atmosphere, with waterfalls and cliffs located throughout. It is a magical place all year round, and is certainly worth a visit if you can. Image used courtesy of National Trust Scotland & Brian Chapple.
Threave Estate Gardens – Castle Douglas
Threave Estate features a fantastic host of nature trails for you to explore the varied landscapes, unique colours and national wildlife. A place of pristine beauty.
Inverewe Gardens – Poolewe, Ross-shire
2,000 acres of woodland, moorland and forestry plantations provide a fantastic home for the local wildlife, the natural habitats here are second to none.
Arley Hall and Gardens – Northwich, Cheshire
Arley Hall and Gardens are home to some of the finest gardens in Britain, known for their variety and vitality. An all-around favourite, paired with the impressive Victorian Hall, a much cherished family home with Elizabethan style architecture.
Levens Hall – The Lake District, Cumbria
A surreal and unique sculpture gallery crafted straight out of nature. The trees and bushes are hundreds of years old, and have been maintained perfectly through generations.
Hemley Walled Gardens – Hemsley, North Yorkshire
The Walled Gardens are spread over an impressive five-acre space, located at the foot of the North York Moors. The location has been one of the top spots to go, relax and unwind for over two decades, with charming sights all around at any time of year. Image used courtesy of Carole Drake & Helmsley Walled Garden.
Bodnant Gardens - Colwyn Bay, Conwy
A hive of activity all year round, a special haven of relaxation and tranquillity for all to enjoy whatever the season. The intimate corners, sweeping lawns and grand terraces make a unique experience for any visitor, a truly delightful experience overall.
If these gardens have inspired you to become more active in your own garden, why not ask about one of our bespoke Garden Buildings? You can see our full luxury collection at one of our seven UK Show Centres. If you have any queries, don't hesitate to get in touch.