Galloping Gardener's Alphabet Gardens © 2011 - Best of "H"s +"L"s
|Hampton Court, Herefordshire has been immaculately restored and draws visitors from all over the world|
From wonderfully restored castle gardens like Hampton Court (above) and magical arboretums like Hergest Croft (below) in Herefordshire; glorious spring gardens in Cumbria, like Holker Hall and Levens Hall with its magnificent topiary, I saw some wonderful new properties during 2011. So in the last of my alphabet roundups this year, here are some of the gardens I saw that readers may want to add to their Wish List for 2012.
|Hergest Croft has seasonal colour throughout the year|
Herefordshire is certainly rich in world-class gardens and my three days there earlier this year were woefully inadequate to see all the gardens on offer. Hampton Court (top) was restored by an American, and offers many acres of eye candy, with hardly a plant out of place; while Hergest Croft has been in the same family for many generations, and has a enviable collection of trees, including many champions and a vegetable garden (above) to make your mouth water!
|Holker Hall is famous for its rhododendron displays, which are just as spectacular when the petals fall|
Holker Hall has magnificent spring blossom displays, even when the rhododendron flowers begin to fall to the ground (above). Located in one of the most stunning parts of the UK, this is just one of many wonderful gardens to visit locally if you're planning a trip to the Lake District or Yorkshire. And if you're in the area, you must make the effort to see Levens Hall (below) - one of the finest topiary gardens in the world.
|Levens Hall is rated as one of the world's top topiary gardens|
Another property to catch if you're planning a trip to Herefordshire is Little Malvern Court (below), even though its open season is limited. This is a property with a really interesting history and a garden to stroll around, with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside.