Gardening in the UK has never been more popular with numerous TV shows providing inspiration to the nation. However, there is no better way to get ideas and tips for improving the look of your beds and borders than visiting one of the hundreds of gardens open to the public.
Ok many of these properties are on a far grander scale than most people’s gardens, but the glorious colours and planting schemes can definitely inspire visitors. For delphiniums, dahlias, foxgloves, roses, lilies and clematis can be planted in any garden given the right conditions.
The National Trust owns many fantastic gardens throughout the UK that are well worth visiting for just a small entrance fee. One of the finest gardens in Europe can be found at Mount Stewart House in County Down, Northern Ireland. Here visitors will see a touch of the Mediterranean as the mild climate allows a degree of planting experimentation.
Many of the castles of Britain are surrounded by magnificent grounds and there some excellent examples in Wales. Visitors to Penrhyn Castle in Bangor will be able to see an exotic tree and shrub collection as well as a Victorian walled garden. Powys Castle in Welshpool is very famous and the beautiful garden incorporates rare and tender plants, clipped yews and magnificent lead statues.
Kent in the south east corner of England is known as the “Garden of England”. A visit to the glorious landscapes of places such as Scotney Castle, Sissinghurst Castle Garden and Emmetts Garden reveal why this is so. In Cornwall the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan are must see attractions.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has some fantastic show gardens dotted around the country. Wisley in Surrey is the perhaps their best known garden, where apart from magnificent plants visitors can see a comprehensive collection of fruit growing here. Scotland boasts many wonderful gardens too including the educational gardens at Greenbank House in Clarkston and the very peaceful Harmony Garden in Melrose.
Kew Gardens in London is arguably the world’s most famous garden and is brimming with botanical history. Plants have been collected from around the world over many years and housed at Kew’s glasshouses and landscapes. Kew also manage Wakehurst Place in West Sussex, which also has beautiful gardens to visit and is home to the largest growing Christmas Tree at 35 metres tall and a real treat to see over the festive period.