Showing posts from December, 2013

Happy New Year

As  the year draws to a close, I'd like to thank all of you who have visited my blog in the last year and hope that you all have a happy and peaceful start to 2014.

Catch those charismatic "C" gardens when you can!

Sit and savour the same views enjoyed by Sir Winston Churchill when you head to Chartwell in Kent, where you'll find an astounding landscape overlooking the Weald and some unexpected features including an immaculate and well-stocked kitchen garden, water gardens created by the great man, and his wife Clementine's charming rose garden. The house is steeped in history and attracts thousands of visitors annually, but the garden is also well worth visiting. If you're looking for a charming cottage garden, head to Chiffchaffs in Dorset (above) on a spring or summer's day to immerse yourself in cosy planting schemes and to breathe in the country air. This property is particularly glorious when the rhododendrons are flowering in May and you can savour the woodland walk, but there's always something in flower here during the season and with the excellent adjoining nursery, you can the buy plants that inspire you. Only open on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Sundays, from 2.00-5.00…

Alphabet Gardens - Best of Britain's "B" gardens

Barnsley House in Gloucestershire, former home of Rosemary Verey - well-known society plantswoman and author of several seminal gardening books, is one to put on the Wishlist for 2014. Notable for its laburnum arch, modelled on the larger version at Bodnant (see below) and the potager, this garden is well worth visiting at any time during the spring and summer. Now an acclaimed hotel and restaurant, where the garden is principally open to guests, rather than garden visitors, there is an annual Barnsley Village Festival in May, when the garden opens to all. Barrington Courtin Somerset is a large Tudor house set in 11 acres of grounds, operated by the National Trust and known for its 20th century garden commissioned by a former tenant after World War I, who enlisted the help of Gertrude Jekyll for the planting there. Particularly notable is the kitchen garden, where you'll see spectacular displays of both flowers and vegetables in season. A further bonus for garden lovers is the othe…

Alphabet Gardens 2013 - Some awesome "A" properties

With so few gardens to visit in the winter months and with weather forecasters telling us this is going to be the coldest winter on record for many years, I plan to feature a series of alphabetical posts in the next few weeks, showing what's on offer here in the UK for garden lovers. The list is far from exhaustive, but growing every year and covers some of the gardens I've enjoyed visiting during the last four years. Most are only open during the summer months, but if you're planning garden visits for 2014, you may want to bookmark those you like the look of.
Aberglasney Gardens in Wales is well worth visiting because of the painstaking restoration work carried out here to transform what was once considered "lost" into what is there today. Saved by a group of historic house enthusiasts and an American benefactor in the 1990's, the results are impressive and, as you wander through the grounds, you feel as though you've stepped back in time. Also worth know…