Showing posts from November, 2012

Lasting Garden Gift ideas for Christmas. Eat your heart out visiting gardens in 2013!

It's just 30 days until Christmas and if you're racking your brains about gifts for gardeners, I've put together a collection of ideas here that will bring happiness to those green fingered members of the family for a whole year - guaranteed to inspire them and get them out and about in the UK. And there's even some ideas for overseas visitors planning to make a pilgrimage to Britain in 2013 to see our glorious gardens. I hope some of these ideas will inspire readers - I know that I'd be delighted to receive any of these gifts for Christmas! Garden visiting doesn't come cheap any more and one of the most economical ways of getting to see a really good sample of our wonderful gardens is to join one of our big organisations for an annual fee - you need only visit five or six gardens in a year and the annual fee has already paid for itself and if, like me, you spend a major part of your life visiting gardens around the country, these memberships are invaluable! All…

Best British Gardens - A Directory

The following is a list of gardens in the UK and Europe that I've visited personally since I started this blog in 2009. It's growing all the time as I continue to visit more gardens. The list is by no means exhaustive and I've visited many gardens that are not included - why? If a garden doesn't make the grade for me, I don't write about it! But that's not to say it won't appeal to other garden visitors.
Thank you for all your visits so far and I hope you'll continue to drop in as my list of gardens grows. Click on the link and it will take you to the garden review. If you're looking for places to stay when visiting gardens, click on the pages link under the header. Happy garden visiting! ENGLAND
Abbey House, Wiltshire
Alfriston Clergy House, East Sussex Apple Court, Hampshire
Arley Hall, Cheshire
Arundel Castle Gardens, West Sussex
Ascott, Buckinghamshire
Asthall Manor, Oxon Athelhampton House, Dorset

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden
Cornwall Barnsley House

Fantastic hues at Kew - on a foggy November morning

Few words today, as I shall let the pictures tell the story from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. There was plenty to see, even on a foggy November morning last week. The leaves are still rich in colour and there's a David Nash sculpture exhibition that runs through until April 2013. And then there's the glass houses - where you'll always find something on display. Open daily throughout the year (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) from 9.30. Winter closing is at 16.15, with last entry 30 minutes earlier.

Walk with wildfowl at the London Wetland Centre - a November treat!

Today was one of those beautiful, clear and chilly November days, so what better place to explore this afternoon than the London Wetland Centre in Barnes? This is one of nine English sites managed by The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), originally founded in 1946 by Sir Peter Scott. The site is an extraordinary achievement - 42 hectares of of wetlands - located in south-west London and home to both resident and visiting birds throughout the year. It's a wonderful place to walk on a sunny day and a fascinating place to take the children, because you can get close enough to the winged residents to really enjoy them. You couldn't get much better viewing conditions than today - clear blue skies, reflected in the huge blue water pools that make up the wetland setting, with fine views over the capital. But you wouldn't know you were so close to the city centre, because all you can hear are the calls of the birds and the odd metal wings beating their way towards Heathrow Airport…

The Galloping Gardener © recommends Great British Gardens in Essex

Essex has more than its fair share of wonderful gardens and arboretums and although few of us think of this arid county as being a garden destination, it is home to some of the most popular and unusual plots in Britain. Beth Chatto, plantswoman extraordinaire settled outside Colchester and created a garden from nothing; Sir Frederick Gibberd chose Harlow as his home and filled his garden with unusual statuary and sculpture; while Hugh Johnson, noted tree (and wine) expert has made a garden nearer to the Suffolk border.  At theBeth Chatto Gardens near Colchester, the world-famous plantswoman has created a seven-acre horticultural oasis from a neglected hollow in the middle of nowhere over the last half century. Beth Chatto is renowned both for her plant philosophy and her best-selling books dedicated to either shade-loving or drought-tolerant plants. This garden is a delight and draws visitors from all over the world. The Gravel Garden (above) is a relatively new addition to the propert…