|Ecclesden Manor in Sussex opens every year for the RNLI|
Although I haven't galloped at my usual speed this year, I did manage to visit several interesting new gardens in the South of England, including Ecclesden Manor in Sussex, which opens its doors a couple of times each year for charity. This year it also opened to mark the 30th year celebrations for The Society of Garden Designers and I was lucky enough to meet the man who designed the garden here - John Brookes - doyen of British gardening design.
|The Edison Estate in Fort Myers, Florida has a glorious riverside location|
On the other side of the pond, I revisited the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, while visiting the US and staying at my former Florida home. I'm sad to say that this will probably be the last time for me, as I've recently severed my connections there, but I plan to return to the East Coast next spring and visit some of the wonderful gardens in bloom in both the Carolinas and Georgia, so watch this space in 2012.
|Emmetts Garden in Kent has panoramic views over the surrounding countryside|
Emmetts Garden in Kent is glorious throughout the year - from early springtime when all the bulbs are in bloom, right through to the autumn when the trees come into flower with their wonderful coloured leaves. This is a garden that I've yet to review, despite several visits in the past, but it's certainly one to remember, because although it's only open from March to October, it offers great walks with panoramic views over the surrounding countryside.
|Visit Enys in Cornwall for spectacular bluebell displays|
Right at the other end of the country, particularly glorious in springtime and renowned for its bluebells in May, Enys in Cornwall is one of many spectacular properties in the far West of England. And while it's hard to imagine drifts of spring flowers like this in the depths of winter, this garden is one to add to your list if you're planning to go in search of bluebells next year.
|Will Giles' Exotic Garden in the heart of Norwich|
I didn't manage to get there myself, but fellow gardeners, friends and garden designers, Paul and Pauline McBride of Sussex Prairies did and they were certainly impressed by Will Giles' Exotic Garden in Norfolk. This is definitely one for my Wish List in 2012, along with many other gardens in the East of England. To read their review and see more pictures of this inner-city exotic wonder, click on the link.