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Showing posts from April, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Spring Walks III - Barnsley House

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A wonderful day out today with two fellow bloggers - Michelle of Veg Plotting and Victoria of Tales from Awkward Hill - we went to Barnsley House in Gloucestershire. Rosemary Verey created the garden here. Open on Saturday, 17th May for the Barnsley Garden Festival.

Silent Saturday - Spring Walks II - Great Dixter

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Great Dixter looks fabulous in springtime. Well worth making a special visit to see the tulips and other spring flowers. Open daily except Mondays (11.00-17.00). Admission to the garden is £8.00 for adults and £2.50 for children (5-15). Free to members of Historic Houses Association. For other stunning spring gardens, click here.

10 of the best spring gardens in southern England

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After one of the worst winters on record in England, when the country was besieged by storm after storm and terrible flooding, spring has finally arrived. But gardens throughout the country seem to be unaffected by the sodden ground and many are blooming early and offering spectacular blossom displays. So in this brief post-Easter round-up, I've selected 10 of the best spring gardens to visit if you want to get out and about in the south. Bowood House, near Chippenham in Wiltshire, has just won the "Garden of the Year" award, sponsored by the Historic Houses Association and Christie's, and has one of the best bluebell and spring colour displays in the country. There are more than 60 acres to explore and the rhododendron walks are open daily from 11.00-18.00 (last admission at 17.30). Entrance is £6.75 for adults (children 2-12 go free). 
Gravetye Manor former home of William Robinson, who championed naturalistic planting. Today it is a prestigious hotel, but visitors c…

Wordless Wednesday - Spring Walks 1 - West Dean Gardens

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Throughout 2014, I plan to use Wordless Wednesday to showcase some of our wonderful British gardens, starting today with West Dean in Sussex. For a full review of the gardens, click here.

Arundel Castle opens in a blaze of colour for annual Tulip Festival

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A burst of sunny, spring weather and plenty of carefully-chosen bulbs guarantee that visitors to Arundel Castle will be met by a blaze of colour if they visit the Tulip Festival in the walled gardens this year. There will be some 15,000 tulips in bloom over the next few weeks and it's a spectacle worth seeing if you're in the vicinity. The bumper crop - planted over the winter months - is blooming early this year and will carry on through Easter and into May.  Open from April to November every year, the gardens at this ducal property have been the subject of extensive redesign and renovation during the last 10 years, kicked off by the opening of the Collector Earl's Garden in 2008. Arundel is home to the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk and, whilst the castle is well-known for its beautifully-furnished public rooms and fine collection of paintings, the garden had new life breathed into it when they commissioned Isobel and Julian Bannerman (who also worked for the Prince of Wales…

Keukenhof, Holland - the best spring garden in the world?

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Is Keukenhof the best spring garden in the world? I'm sure readers will have a view on this. I was lucky enough to visit last week and left with a dizzying array of images depicting the remarkable garden in southern Holland that draws visitors from all over the world. This horticultural mecca opens for just eight weeks each year, but is home to more than seven million bulbs - planted annually - which provide dazzling spring flower displays for the 800,000 visitors who make the pilgrimage to catch a glimpse of the eye candy on offer here between mid-March and mid-May. Late March was a little too early to catch the tulips in full bloom, although there were obvious signs of what to expect in the next few weeks (above). But it didn't matter, because there were great swathes of narcissi and other spring bulbs, spectacular blossoms and signs of spring shrubs about to bloom, including azaleas and rhododendrons. But most impressive of all was the mingled fragrances of the flowering bul…

Floral Friday - spectacular spring bulb displays in Holland

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I've just returned from Holland, where I was lucky enough to visit Keukenhof and the bulb fields around Lisse - certainly one of the most spectacular sights I've seen yet in my travels. The daffodils (above) are coming to an end, but the hyacinths are now in bloom and the tulips are yet to come. Full report to follow.