India - it doesn't get much better than this!
As my regular readers know, I've been in India for the last couple of weeks. It's a very beautiful country and there are some magnificent gardens, which I'll be featuring here soon, but one of my favourites, which you won't find in the regular guide books, is the garden at Tikli (above) near Gurgaon. This is a guesthouse near Delhi, run by Annie and Martin Howard, and it has one of the most beautiful gardens in India - created by the owners in the last ten years.
Martin and Annie have worked hard to make this garden beautiful ... and their efforts have really paid off. It is a wonderful haven, surrounded on three sides by the Araveli Hills; set against the backdrop of the Lutyens-style house; and filled with many interesting plants and trees, like the magnificent silk tree (above).
There are two lovely mini pavilions on the lawn in front of the house, and these are my favourite places to sit in the early evening, when the sun is going down, looking at the reflection on the swimming pool. Elsewhere in the garden you will find many different plants that Martin has nurtured from seedlings; a vegetable garden; Annie's cutting garden; and a wonderful tropical garden at the front of the house.
The views over the surrounding countryside are lovely (above) - particularly at this time of year, when the mustard is in bloom, and the bougainvillea is quite astounding. I have never seen so many different colours and types in one garden - ranging from dark reds, through pinks, oranges, yellows and whites.
Quite apart from the garden, this is one of my favourite places to stay in India and I always use Tikli as a staging post when arriving or departing from Delhi - it gives me a chance to get my breath back, admire the surroundings, and join Martin in an early morning walk where he points out all that is growing there. Accuse me of a PR plug if you want, but this is quite simply the best place to stay on arrival or departure from India, and is also ideally located for day trips to Delhi, Agra and the Taj and the gardens at Deeg, which I will be featuring next week.