Lamorran Gardens, Cornwall is one of the beautiful gardens I have visited
look at the detail, find out more

Beautiful Gardens

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.

The Lime Walk, Sissinghurst Castle, Kent
The Gravel Garden, Wildside, Devon
The High Garden, Great Dixter, East Sussex

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.

The Bowling Green, Rousham Gardens, Oxfordshire
Iris border, Cruckfield House, Shropshire

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.

Wild grass, Stockton Bury Gardens, Herefordshire

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.

Spring-fed pond, Dale Farm, Norfolk
Rill Garden, Wollerton Old Hall, Shropshire
Bubbling bowl, Upton Wold, Gloucestershire
Pot display, Great Dixter, East Sussex

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.

Single pot with pelargonium

Scuptural enhancements

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.

Red bridge, Abbotsbury Gardens, Dorset
Temple of the Winds, Doddington Hall Gardens, Lincolnshire
Italianate sculpture, Lamorran House Garden, Cornwall
Stone ball with Centranthus rubra, Bourton House Gardens, Gloucestershire

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

Cambridge Botanic Garden View across the lake
Callistemon, Lamorran House Garden, Cornwall
Yellow border, Chivel Farm, Oxfordshire
Echinops ritro in the Order Beds, Kew Gardens
The White Garden, Sissinghurst Castle, Kent
Balls of buxus under birches, Sir Harold Hillier Winter Garden
Pink flowers of summer-flowering bulb, Tulbaghia violacea, Sissinghurst Castle Garden. Kent
Broughton Grange, Oxfordshire
Bananas provide a shady corner, Salutation Garden, Kent
Miscanthus nepalensis with blue aster, Great Dixter, East Sussex
Snowdrops and winter aconites, Cambridge Botanic Garden
Solanum crispum grown from cuttings from Apple Court, Hampshire
A garden scene at The Laskett Garden, Herefordshire
Tulipa 'Little Beauty', Sissinghurst Castle Garden
The River Cam flows through Audley End House Gardens, Essex

Now see some gardens in detail – find out more

See the details of some of the fabulous plants in the gardens I have visited.

Visiting gardens 

 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.