Wherever you live in the UK, there is a stunning garden to visit and take some inspiration away from. Here are some of our favourites:
North – Wentworth Castle, South Yorkshire
This time of year in Wentworth Castle, it’s all about the colour from the magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons. The full range of colours are all there; quite a sight to see. This is the perfect opportunity to see such a large selection of these magnificent plants. A really special area of Wentworth is the conservatory. Visit to see the stunning passion flowers that are in bloom at this time of year. What a wonderful place to find some inspiration for this years planting; time to get the camera out!
South – Osborne House, Isle of Wight
Osborne House was Queen Victoria’s holiday home on the Isle of Wight: “It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot” she is quoted as saying. The views over the Solent were said to remind Prince Albert of the Bay of Naples. Spring time brings the primroses, which are meant to have been some of Queen Victoria’s favourite flowers. If you are there when they are out, the wild daffodils that cover the meadows below the house are really not to be missed. Due to the climate on the island, Osborne House is also home to some beautiful wild orchids; the common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) and the green winged orchid (Orchis morio) and they really do show off their stunning but delicate forms. There is so much to see at Osborne House and so much to take back to your own garden.
East – Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, Norfolk
A team of seven gardeners and two woodsmen along with the active and enthusiastic 2nd Lord Fairhaven cleared the completely overgrown main garden in 1947 when the family moved into the house. He loved shade and water loving plants and introduced many into the garden; today many thousands of these wonderful plants are flowering during May and June making Fairhaven well worth a visit and will inspire you and your planting for next spring! It took the 2nd Lord Fairhaven 15 years to create the stunning garden there is there today. One really special point to note about this garden is that many of his trees were grown in dedicated nursery and greenhouses; 90% of the plants were grown from seed … no pressure!
West – Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokshire
Rhododendrons are Colby’s specialty and they are rightly proud of them. Make sure you see the large-leaved specimens at Old Oak Corner and by the newt pond. A Colby-ian claim to fame is their Japanese Redwood by the newt pond; it’s the tallest in the UK! There is plenty to see at Colby, even the odd otter. The sea views will take you across Carmarthen Bay and on a good day to Worm’s head. If you live in an area with mining history, why not visit the heritage hotspots and see how they are combining the mine entrances and track with the natural world around them. Inspiration is everywhere!
Spring is such an amazing time of year in the garden, why not visit one of these this season?!