look at the detail, find out more
I love visiting gardens. Big or small, grand or humble, one that just happens at the gardener’s whim or one built to an impressive design – I like them all.
They widen my horizons and give me the opportunity to see plants I can’t grow or, perhaps, I didn’t even know existed, and to value their beauty.
Look at some posts about gardens I have visited.
Or carry on reading.
Gardens for all seasons
Sometimes a garden has a part, or, perhaps, just a border, devoted to a particular season. In a spring garden, like this one at Sissinghurst Castle, the bare trees might cast a shadow over the flowering bulbs beneath. I love winter gardens and have written about those at Anglesey Abbey and the Sir Harold Hillier Garden.
More usually, the whole garden is full of interest and colour throughout the seasons, with different plants taking centre stage in turn, as here at Wildside in high summer, and Great Dixter in the autumn.
Lawns wide, narrow, or wild
Grass plays a big part in most gardens and can be used in many ways. At Rousham, the Bowling Green has been mown with great precision whereas at Cruckfield House grass is used as a path between flower borders. Allowed to grow tall with ox-eye daisies, grass is used in a wilder setting at Stockton Bury.
The wonder of water
Water can also be used in a garden, to great effect. Not everyone has a spring-fed pond like this one at Dale Farm in Norfolk but water is introduced beautifully at Wollerton Old Hall in Shropshire in a rill, and at Upton Wold in Gloucestershire in a huge, copper bowl.
Pots and pot
Greart Dixter is justifiably famous for its fabulous displays of pot-grown plants at the front door.
Sometimes, a single pot says it all.
On occasion, a man-made feature enhances the planting in a garden. The red bridge at Abbotsbury Garden in Dorset, contrasts beautifully with the lush planting, and the temple at Doddinton Hall in Lincoln, provides a massive presence in the landscape of trees. The sculpture of a woman is one of many similar features in the Italianate garden at Lamorran House in Cornwall. At Bourton House Gardens in Gloucestershire, the large, solid, stone ball is the perfect foil for the almost wild, Centranthus ruber.
Features such as these, and lots more too numerous to mention, can go into creating a garden. Here are just a few examples of beautiful gardens full of gorgeous plants!
Plants, plants, plants
Now see some gardens in detail – find out more
See the details of some of the fabulous plants in the gardens I have visited.
Here in the UK we have many opportunities to visit beautiful gardens.
National Trust has many properties surrounded by parkland and gardens. In these important, sometimes ancient, settings history is reflected in the living plants.
English Heritage too has many historic landscapes and gardens that we can visit. At Down House in Kent you can even walk in Charles Darwin’s footsteps.
The other countries in the UK, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland all have similar organizations encouraging us to enjoy their gardens.
The National Garden Scheme “gives visitors unique access to over 3,500 exceptional private gardens in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, and raises impressive amounts of money for nursing and health charities through admissions, teas and cake.” There is sure to be one nearby.
Country houses, historic properties, town and village fund-raising events, and many more occasions give us opportunities to look at plants in wonderful surroundings, often very close to home. Grab the opportunity when it comes your way.