Essential British Gardens, UK & Republic of Ireland Gardens & Arboretums

Gardens of South East England

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Bedgebury National Pinetum Park Lane, Bedgebury, Goudhurst, Kent.

Photo © Crown Copyright 2015

Bedgebury National Pinetum

The Pinetum was established as the National Conifer Collection in 1925 and now has the most complete collection of conifers on one site anywhere in the world. The collection has over 12,000 tree specimens and shrubs from across five continents growing in 300 acres, including rare, historically important and endangered trees and is home to some 56 vulnerable or critically endangered species and five NCCPG National Collections. It contains some of the oldest and largest examples of conifers in Britain. The Pinetum enjoys historic links with gardens at Kew and Wakehurst.

The Pinetum is the unlikely offspring of Londonís notorious smog. The poor soils and air pollution from London made Kew an unsuitable site for a new conifer collection. Bedgebury was chosen for the streams which flow in the valleys, the lake and the combination of marshy land and drier ridges. Purchased by the Crown in 1919 as part of the Bedgebury Forest for the newly established Forestry Commission, it was developed jointly by the Forestry Commission and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew from 1923 until 1965, when the Pinetum reverted solely to the Forestry Commission. The first plants for the Pinetum were raised at Kew Gardens in 1921 and planted out in Bedgebury in 1925 and 1926 among earlier plantings carried out by Viscount Marshall Beresford of Bedgebury, who served with Wellington at Waterloo. National Collections of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Juniperus, Taxus, Thuja and x Cupressocyparis.

Beech Court Gardens Challock, Ashford, Kent.

Photo © Beech Court Gardens 2015

Beech Court Gardens

Beech Court Gardens was laid out in an informal way nearly 70 years ago using the natural contours of the previously farmed land. The delightful pond was originally dug as a drinking trough for horses. The 9 acre woodland garden is an oasis of beauty and tranquility. The splendid spring colours from the large collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and viburnums give way to roses, summer borders and vivid blue hydrangeas. There are extensive lawns and a fine collection of trees especially acers which give a finale of autumn colours.


Capel Manor Gardens Bullsmoor Lane, Enfield, Middlesex.

Photo © 2012 The Old Manor House Garden

Capel Manor Gardens

Capel Manor Gardens and estate provide a colourful and scented oasis surrounding a Georgian Manor House and Victorian Stables. It offers a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes at Greater London's only specialist College of Horticulture, Floristry, Garden Design, Animal Care and Countryside Studies.

There are 30 acres of richly planted themed gardens including Historical Gardens, Italianate Maze, Japanese Garden and many others, gardens designed for wheelchair users.

An opportunity to view the animals used by our students. Animals include our Kune-Kune pigs, goats, poultry, rabbits etc. You may see our famous Heavy Horses working and exercising around the grounds. National Collections of Sarcococca.

Chelsea Physic Garden 66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London.

Photo © Chelsea Physic Garden

Chelsea Physic Garden - Statue of Sir Hans Sloane in the centre of the Garden

The Chelsea Physic Garden was founded in 1673, as the Apothecaries' Garden, with the purpose of training apprentices in identifying plants. The collection concentrates on medicinal plants and those of ethnobotanical interest, as well as rare and endangered species.

Situated in the heart of London, Chelsea Physic Garden has a unique living collection of around 5,000 different edible, useful, medicinal and historical plants. Celebrating the beauty and importance of plants, this Ďhidden gemí is also a peaceful green oasis in which to enjoy a relaxing stroll.

The Gardenís warm microclimate means that many tender plants can flourish including a number of rare and endangered species. It has the largest outdoor fruiting olive tree in Britain and the worldís most northerly outdoor grapefruit tree. From pomegranates to gingkos, mulberries to eucalyptus, there are over 100 different types of tree in the Garden, many of which are rare in Britain. The glasshouses hold a collection of tropical and sub-tropical species, complemented by a Victorian Cool Fernery.

Claremont Landscape Garden (NT) Portsmouth Road, Esher, Surrey.

Photo © National Trust

Claremont Landscape Garden

One of the earliest surviving English landscape gardens, restored by the Trust to its former glory. Begun by Sir John Vanbrugh and Charles Bridgeman before 1720, the gardens were extended and naturalised by William Kent. 'Capability' Brown also made improvements. Home to one of the finest Lebanese cedars in England. Features include a lake, island with pavilion, grotto, turf amphitheatre, viewpoints and avenues.


Doddington Place Gardens nr. Sittingbourne, Kent.

Photo © 2014 Doddington Place Gardens

Doddington Place Gardens - Woodland Garden & Wellingtonia Walk

Doddington Place is surrounded by wooded countryside in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the North Downs. The lovely landscaped gardens, recognised of being of historical importance by English Heritage, are set in the grounds of an imposing Victorian mansion and cover ten acres. The gardens have been open in aid of the National Gardens Scheme for more than fifty years. Landscaped garden with a formal sunken garden, Edwardian rock garden, a woodland and rhododendron and azalea garden, clipped yews, extensive lawns, avenues and fine trees.

Emmetts Garden (NT) (V) Ide Hill, Sevenoaks, Kent.

Photo © National Trust

Emmetts Garden

Charming Emmetts is an Edwardian estate that was owned by Frederic Lubbock, and was a plantsman's passion and a much-loved family home. Emmetts garden is on an 18 acre site adjoining the National Trust's Toys Hill properties and offering wonderful views over The Weald. Emmetts is one of the highest gardens in Kent and has carpets of bluebells in spring, roses in summer, lovely autumn colours, rare trees and shrubs, woodland walks and rock garden. Influenced by William Robinson, this delightful plantsman's garden was laid out in the late 19th century, with many exotic and rare trees and shrubs from across the world.

Goodnestone Park Wingham, Canterbury, Kent.

Photo ©

Goodnestone Park

A skilfully designed 15 acre garden with well-maintained lawns, a tree collection, shrubs, heathers, herbaceous plants, walls and terraces. Connections with Jane Austin who visited many times. The Walled Garden is Goodnestone's most renowned and popular area, and many visitors think that the central view through the succession of mellow brick-walled enclosures to the church tower, is one of the best in any English garden. Some of the walls are older than the house and having been carefully restored through the 1960s and 1970s they are now hung with a range of climbers and wall plants including clematis, jasmine, solanum and roses, Fremontodendron 'California Glory' and Carpentaria californica.

Great Comp Platt, nr. Borough Green, Kent.

Photo ©

Great Comp Gardens

Established in 1957 by a retired couple, this garden of 7 acres now contains 3,000 named plants! Conifers, maples, rhododendrons, magnolias and good herbaceous borders edging large areas of lawn, give a restful vista of semi-woodland effect. Areas of stonework close to the house with a sunken garden centred with a lilypond make a pretty sitting-out place. The shape of the old oast house on the adjacent property is seen from here and adds to the picturesque surroundings.

Set in the heart of the Garden of England and surrounding a 17th century house, Great Comp Garden is the delightful creation of Roderick and Joy Cameron since moving to Great Comp in 1957. The gardens are now run by the Curator William Dyson, assisted by one full time gardener, 2 part time gardeners and a small team of volunteers.

For the name we need to go back to the XIIIth Century and before. In 1240 Comp was known as Camp de Wrotha (an abbreviation for Wrotham) in 1251 as Caumpes and Compe in 1461. The name is derived from Old English Camp meaning campus or field.

For two retired people to develop such a large scale garden unaided, is indeed an outstanding accomplishment and a significant testament to leave to others to enjoy. There is something enticing about the design of the garden at Great Comp - paths lead the visitor on, curving out of sight round bold plantings. The atmosphere is essentially informal.

Great Dixter nr. Northiam, Rye, East Sussex.

Photo ©

Great Dixter

Christopher Lloyd's garden in East Sussex is an example of cottage gardening on a larger scale. The Manor of Dixter is first noted in 1220 and structural additions were made again in 1464. In 1910 the English architect Edwin Lutyens restored Great Dixter and designed the gardens.

Christopher Lloyd, the author and lecturer, who has lived at Great Dixter since 1921, died on January 27th 2006, aged 84. All the team at Dixter, headed up by Fergus Garrett, head gardener and Christo's closest friend, are greatly saddened by this enormous loss. The team is committed to carrying on Christo's work and keeping Great Dixter and its garden open for the public to enjoy.

Christopher Lloyd, was an expert in creating the essence of cottage gardens with bountiful plantings of regulated informality. The garden is composed of a series of small gardens including a fine topiary garden, rose garden, kitchen garden - an attractive mingling of vegetables and flowers - a large orchard with many pockets of wild flowers and a magnificent herbaceous border in summer, truly a joy for any gardener to visit.


Groombridge Place Gardens Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Photo © 2015 Groombridge Place Estates Ltd

Groombridge Place Gardens - The White Rose Garden

There are 65 hectares of grounds and gardens, heavily water-biased. Though the 17th century house has a residual moat there are also formal terraced gardens and topiary appropriate to the house's origin (1660), as well as the earlier Elizabethan walled garden which belonged to the house displaced in 1660. The medieval moat has become a water garden, and there is a great deal of decorative planting of specimen trees.

There are 6 gardens within the grounds, The Knot Garden, The Secret Garden, The White Rose Garden, The Oriental Garden, and The Drunken Garden. There is a yew planted in 1415 to mark the Battle of Agincourt and Wellingtonias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) that date back to the 1850s.

Hampton Court Palace Gardens London.

Photo © Historic Royal Palaces 2015

The Maze at Hampton Court Palace Gardens

When Sir Christopher Wren designed his new additions to the original Palace he took into account the layout of the existing gardens and avenues added by Charles II. His classical facades contrast well with the Tudor bricks and chimneys. The Broad Walk, laid out in 1700 extend to a distance of almost a half mile. Allow at least half an hour to get lost in the maze and find your way out again. National Collection of Heliotropium.

60 acres of the beautiful Hampton Court Palace gardens that run down to the River Thames, featuring sparkling fountains, glorious displays of over 200,000 flowering bulbs and 750 acres of tranquil royal parkland.

Hever Castle Gardens Edenbridge, Sevenoaks, Kent.

Photo © 2015 Hever Castle Ltd

Hever Castle Gardens

The spectacular gardens at Hever Castle were laid out between 1904 and 1908 by Joseph Cheal & Son, turning marshland into the spectacular gardens you see today.

One of the most magnificent areas of the gardens is the Italian Garden, which was designed to display William Waldorf Astorís collection of Italian sculpture. Over 1,000 men worked on the great design with around 800 men digging out the 38 acre lake at the far end of the Italian Garden - taking two years to do so! Within four years the 30 acres of classical and natural landscapes were constructed and planted. 125 acres of the garden has now reached its full maturity and includes the colourful walled Rose Garden which contains over 4,000 plants.

Between 1904 and 1908, William Astor further enhanced the castle's romantic setting by creating glorious gardens. These included the unique Italian garden, the maze, 35 acre lake and the rose garden, all of which are now fully mature and spectacular throughout the seasons. The unique Italian garden contains statuary and sculpture dating from Roman to Renaissance times, collected in Italy and brought to Hever, where it forms a magnificent sight among the glorious display of shrubs and climbing and herbaceous plants. A new Tudor herb garden close to the castle was opened in 1994.

Isabella Plantation Richmond Park, Richmond-upon-Thames, London.

Photo © 2015 The Royal Parks

Isabella Plantation

The Isabella Plantation is now an ornamental woodland garden, full of exotic plants, that is designed to be interesting all year round. Magnificent displays of azaleas and rhododendrons in late spring and early summer.

In 1831, Lord Sidmouth, the park deputy ranger, fenced off 17ha (42 acres) of the Isabella Slade . He planted oak, beech and sweet chestnut trees as a crop for timber and gave the area the name it has today.

The present garden of clearings, ponds and streams was established from the 1950s onwards. It is largely the work of George Thomson , the park superintendent from 1951-1971. Along with his head gardener, Wally Miller, he removed Rhododendron ponticum from large areas and replaced it with other rhododendron species. They established evergreen Kurume Azaleas around the Still Pond and planted other exotic shrub and tree species. The main stream through the garden from Broomfield Gate was dug in 1960 and the plantation was enlarged to include Peg's Pond. More recently, in 1989, a wild stream was dug in the northern section and this has now been colonized by ferns, water plantains and brook lime. The Bog Garden was reconstructed in 2000.

The garden now has 15 known varieties of deciduous azalea and houses the National collection of Kurume Azaelas, introduced to the west around 1920 by the plant collector, Ernest Wilson . There are also 50 different species of rhododendron and 120 hybrids.


Kew Royal Botanic Gardens Richmond upon Thames, London.

Photo © Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens - Palm House

The jewel in the crown of British gardens which, due to its size, requires many days to explore fully. To give you some idea of scale the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew covers an area of 121 hectares (300 acres). The distance between the Main Gate (North) and the Pagoda (South) is approximately one mile (1600m) and it is roughly 700m between the Kew Road on the Eastern boundary and the River Thames to the West. Size precludes a description and allow 3 days to assess it properly! National Collections of Amorphophallus, Encephalartos, Heliconia, Iris subgenus Scorpiris and Musa spp.

Leeds Castle Maidstone, Kent.

Photo © Leeds Castle Enterprise Ltd. 2015

Leeds Castle - The Culpeper Garden

A 3,000 acre estate originally surrounded the castle. The parkland is now much smaller, but still contains farms, woodland, a golf course and several gardens.

In the Castle grounds are aviaries, a swannery and the famous old Culpepper garden full of fragrant plants. A maze leads to an underground grotto, and there are vineyards and greenhouses to visit. A museum contains a collection of Medieval Dog Collars! The only one (probably) in the World. Truly unique.

Marle Place Gardens Brenchley, Tonbridge, Kent.

Photo ©

Marle Place Gardens

These peaceful and privately owned gardens, first created in 1890, are the exceptional result of generations of careful attention. There are over ten acres of formal and informal planting, encircled by old woodland and orchards, typical of the 'garden of England'. Romantic and peaceful gardens with topiary, herbaceous borders, plants and ponds in an interesting design around a Grade II Listed building (not open.) There is an Edwardian rockery, a herb nursery, woodland walk, a Victorian gazebo and scented walled garden.

There is always an exhibition of contemporary art work in the gallery, and many in the grounds too. The kitchen garden has a new fruit cage, potager section and orchids housed in a restored Victorian glass house.

Merriments Gardens Hawkhurst Road, Hurst Green, East Sussex.

Photo ©

Merriments Gardens

A 4 acre densely planted garden created in the 1990's featuring herbaceous borders, unusual plants, water gardens and woodland. 'Monet'-style garden leading into display of colour-themed borders for sun and shade, dry and moist areas. Hidden stream links two large ponds, bog garden and rock garden.

Mount Ephraim Gardens Hernhill, Faversham, Kent.

Photo © 2015 Mount Ephraim

Mount Ephraim Gardens

A nine acre garden specially noted for its daffodils, rhododendrons, a fine herbaceous border, topiary and rose terraces which lead to a small lake. There is also a water garden, a Japanese rock garden with pools, woodland, orchard walk and a small vineyard.

The gardens were laid out in the early 1900s, but after wartime neglect were substantially restored by Mary and Bill Dawes from the early 1950s. Mary Dawes was involved in the day-to-day running of the gardens until she sadly passed away in 2009, at the grand age of 93. Mount Ephraim has never been a 'professionally' maintained garden, but Mary had always lovingly tended it. Although comparatively small, Mount Ephraim has a personal charm so often lost in larger gardens.


Painshill Park Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey.

Photo © 2015 Painshill

Painshill Park Gardens - Amphitheatre

An 18th century landscape garden designed around a meandering lake which is open to visitors as part of an ongoing major restoration project. A circuit walk takes visitors past a Gothic temple, ruined abbey, Turkish tent, grotto, Chinese bridge and waterwheel. There are also formal areas, specimen trees and replanted historic shrubberies and vineyard.

National Collection of John Bartram Heritage Collection, (collection of plants representing those sent in seed boxes from John Bartram in N Amercia to UK subscribers including Charles Hamilton, creator of Painshill in mid 18th century.)

Pashley Manor Gardens Ticehurst, nr.Wadhurst, East Sussex.

Photo © Pashley Manor Gardens 2015

Pashley Manor Gardens

A quintessential English garden located on the Sussex and Kent border in the heart of South East Englandís garden country. Pashley offers a sumptuous blend of romantic landscaping, imaginative plantings and fine old trees, fountains, springs and large ponds.

Pashley Manor Park has superb views south to Brightling Beacon, while the gardens are enhanced by the romantic vision of the 18th century which tempered the formality of the time. There are old trees and delicate shrubs, and new plantings of the last decade, and waterfalls, fresh ponds and the ancient moat used in a most effective way, to produce peace and quiet except for the tinkling of running water.

Polesden Lacey (NT) Great Bookham, nr. Dorking, Surrey.

Photo © National Trust 2015

Polesden Lacey

Polesden Lacey occupies extensive grounds on the North Downs and sits on a 1400 acre estate. The house and garden are superbly situated with magnificent views over the Downs. The garden consists of 10 acres of elegant terraces and lawns, the 30 acre Edwardian garden, a walled rose garden, plus summer border and winter display. The gardens offer something for every season, including climbing roses at their best in June, a herbaceous border that is currently being restored to pre-war glories and a winter garden bursting with yellow aconites.

A large proportion of the estate is an SSSI helping to conserve bats and orchids.

Ramster Garden Ramster, Chiddingfold, Surrey.

Photo © 2012 Ramster Events

Ramster Garden

A mature woodland garden with over 20 acres featuring flowering shrubs, a bog garden and wild flowers, especially good in spring and early summer. Specimens include magnolias, camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons and there are many fine trees to be seen. Around 250 acres of farm land and woods surround the house with ancient woodland, wildlife and stunning blue bells in May.

One of the original gardens open for the National Garden Scheme, it has now been open to the public for 84 years. The local nursery, Gauntletts of Chiddingfold, also known as the Japanese Nursery, laid out the garden in 1890. They were famous for importing plants and garden ornaments from Japan, and their influence can be seen throughout the garden in the stone lanterns, the bamboo plantings, and the unique avenue of Japanese maples, (acer palmatum dissectum) now over 100 years old.

Richmond Park See Isabella Plantation above.

Royal National Rose Society Chiswell Green, St Albans, Hertfordshire.

Photo © 2015 RNRS

Royal National Rose Society

Founded in 1876, the Royal National Rose Society is a leading gardening charity dedicated to encouraging, improving and extending the science, art and practice of the cultivation and conservation of roses. The RNRS Garden has 20 acres of showground and trial grounds for new varieties of rose. Thirty thousand roses of all types are displayed with 1,700 different varieties. National Collections of Rosa (spp. & cvs.)

Saint Pauls Walden Bury Garden Hitchen, Hertfordshire.

Photo © 2015

Saint Pauls Walden Bury Garden

A Grade I landscaped garden, laid out in about 1730 and covering 40 acres. There is a formal design of avenues through woodland gardens leading to temples, statues, a lake and ponds. This is the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth, and the Queen Mother. Extensive daffodil and rhododendron displays in April and May. Iris, roses, lilies and herbaceous border displays in May through to August.


Scotney Castle (NT) Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Photo © 2015 National Trust

Scotney Castle

From the early 18th century, British landscape gardeners had been creating gardens inspired by pictures, but by 1800 a backlash had set in. Critics considered the grassy vistas designed by Capability Brown too smooth and tidy. Scotney's picturesque garden is a last fling in this backlash style of gardening.

Often described as the most romantic garden in England, the ruins of the small 14th century castle are reflected in its moat, forming the backdrop to a garden of breathtaking beauty and considerable importance to the garden historian. Rhododendrons and azaleas in season and specimen trees offer picturesque views from all angles; truly an enchanted place. Unusual heather-thatched Ice House. Wonderful woodland and parkland with over 770 acres to explore.

The Secret Gardens of Sandwich Sandwich, Kent.

Photo © 2015 The Salutation

The Secret Gardens of Sandwich

Encircled by the old, stone city walls, The Secret Gardens of Sandwich are an oasis of serenity waiting to be explored. At their heart stands the Grade I listed manor house designed by famous English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens who also devised the 3.5 acres of ornamental gardens.

Officially opened in 2007 by Gardenerís World host Monty Don, The Secret Gardens have since gone from strength to strength.

When the current owners took over in 2004, the gardens were in a state of total neglect; where the charming white garden stands was once a pile of rubble and the Holm Oak Walk was totally shapeless and overgrown. Even after 5 million litres of sea water were pumped back into the river, there were lingering obstacles to once again restoring the gardens. The quality of the soil had been greatly degraded, while thousands of worms had been killed.

The gardens have since undergone a metamorphosis; whilst the spirit and style of the original garden has been largely captured, several more modern features have been added such as the Tropical Border.

Within this area you will find the Wollemi Pine, an incredibly rare plant dating back to the Jurassic period, which is now part of a global conservation project to boost its numbers.

The island on Lake Patricia, accessed by a small footbridge, is a tranquil place to sit and reflect on the beautiful surroundings; The Gardens also include a stunning white garden, yellow garden, bowling green and rose garden, as well as a kitchen garden, vegetable garden and woodland gardens.The Gardens are open seven days a week, throughout the year.

Sheffield Park Garden (NT) Uckfield, East Sussex.

Photo © 2015 National Trust

Sheffield Park Garden

A magnificent 40 hectare landscape garden, with 4 lakes linked by cascades and waterfalls, laid out in the 18th century by 'Capability' Brown and further developed in the early years of the 20th century by its owner, Arthur G. Soames. Carpeted with daffodils and bluebells in spring, its rhododendrons, azaleas and stream garden are spectacular in early summer. In autumn the garden is ablaze with colour. Its collection of rare trees and shrubs makes the garden wonderful to visit at any time of year. Site of the first England v. Australia cricket match. Home to the National Collection of Rhododendron (Ghent Azaleas.)

Sissinghurst Castle Garden (NT) nr. Cranbrook, Kent.

Photo © 2015 National Trust

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Sissinghurstís beautiful 2 hectare garden was first laid out by novelist Vita Sackville-West and her diplomat husband Harold Nicolson in the 1930ís. The gardens surround the remains of an Elizabethan mansion. Though the place of passionate affairs and weekend parties, Sissinghurst Castle was also the backdrop to a loving family home.. A series of small, enclosed gardens, intimate in scale and romantic in atmosphere with much to see in all seasons.

Swiss Garden Old Warden, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.

Photo © 2015 Shuttleworth

Swiss Garden - Broad Walk

A visit to The Swiss Garden takes you back to the early 19th century, when an interest in ornamental gardening and picturesque architecture first came together. Created in the 1820s by Lord Ongley, it is a late Regency garden and an outstanding example of the Swiss picturesque.

A unique, ornamental early 19th century example of an English garden affording a splendid mix of shrubs, mature trees, intertwining islands, ponds, tiny bridges and buildings.

Syon House Gardens Brentford, Richmond on Thames, London.

Photo © Syon Park 2014

Syon House Gardens

In 30 acres of 'Capability' Brown landscaped parkland can be found the gardens, which have been here since the 1430's when it was started by Bridgettine nuns. In the 1540s it was laid out as a botanic garden.

The Great Conservatory, built of Bath stone and gunmetal, was designed and built between 1820 and 1830. Many rare and exotic fruits and flowers were grown; pineapples, bananas and figs all ripened and the first mangosteens in England were grown here.

Another feature of the gardens is the ice house. An ice house was in use at Syon by 1760/1 when it took two days to fill with ice from the lake. The ice was used to make ducal desserts such as ice cream and sorbets and also to cool wine and champagne at the ducal table. There is also a recently re-opened 6 acre rose garden.


Vann Hambledon, Godalming, Surrey.

Photo © 2006 Vann


A 5 acre garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll. Formal yew walk, quarter acre pond and water garden, spring bulbs, woodland, azaleas. A not-to-be-missed garden. Open for the 'Gardens for Charity' scheme (see 'yellow book') or by appointment; Telephone: (0)1428 683413.

Walmer Castle and Gardens (EH) Deal, Kent.

Photo © English Heritage

Walmer Castle - Herbaceous Broadwalk borders

Henry VIII's coastal fort was for many years residence of the Lords warden of the Cinque Ports. The delightful gardens which surround it owe much to the two Lords Warden, William Pitt and Earl Granville. The herbaceous borders are particularly lovely, and at their best in the summer months. The fort, which was transformed into an elegant stately home, was much used by Wellington, and occasionally by the Queen Mother.

With the backdrop of the undulating cloud yew hedge, the double borders are full of colour throughout the summer months. The colour and planting scheme is inspired by the influential British horticulturist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.

The flat Kent coastline is frequently blasted by salty winds from the English Channel, yet protected by the castle and garden walls, the gardens flourish here.

Winkworth Arboretum (NT) Hascombe Road, Godalming, Surrey.

Photo © 2015 National Trust

Winkworth Arboretum - Rowes Flashe Lake

Hillside woodland with two lakes, many rare trees and shrubs and fine views. Established in the 20th century, this hillside arboretum now contains over 1,000 different shrubs and trees, many of them rare. The most impressive displays are in spring for bluebells and azaleas, autumn for colour. Wildlife abounds. National Collection of Sorbus (sect Aria and Micromeles.)

Wisley Garden (RHS) Woking, Surrey.

Photo © The Royal Horticultural Society 2015

Wisley Garden - The Canal

Gifted to the Society in 1903, Wisley, the flagship of the Royal Horticultural Society, has been inspiring gardeners for nearly 100 years and has evolved over time into a world-class garden. As well as being the Society's centre for horticultural science and education, it is a working model of the very best in gardening practices. Highlights in the 240 acre garden include the magnificent rock garden, rock pools and alpine houses, the glories of the mixed borders and rose garden, the splendid array of glasshouses and 1000 varieties of fruit in the orchard. National Collections of Crocus, Daboecia, Epimedium, Erica, Galanthus and Rheum (culinary.)


Woburn Abbey Woburn, Bedfordshire.

Photo © 2014 Woburn Enterprises

Woburn Abbey - Hornbeam Maze

A 22 acre garden designed by Wyattville with recent restoration of 'The Duchess' rose garden . A unique hornbeam maze with an 18th century temple by Chambers. The 3,000 acre deer park was landscaped by Humphry Repton in the early 19th century and contains an abundance of wildlife, including nine species of deer. One of these, the Pere David, descended from the Imperial Herd of China, was saved from extinction at Woburn and is now the largest breeding herd in the world.

Wrest Park House and Gardens (EH) Silsoe, Bedfordshire.

Photo © English Heritage

Wrest Park House and Gardens - Statues and parterres in the gardens

It is the gardens of Wrest Park that make it special. Over a period of 150 Years the de Grev family employed only the most talented and up-to-date designers and landscape artists. Take a walk around the vast 90 acres. You will travel from 1700 to 1850, through three distinct gardening styles; the formality of the Great Garden with its half-mile vista down the Long Water from the House to the Pavilion; the mock classical ruin of the Bath House, not to mention other surprises; and then the wide-open, natural spaces that are the hallmark of 'Capability' Brown.

Yalding Organic Gardens Benover Road, Yalding, Nr. Maidstone, Kent.

Photo © 2015 Yalding Garden Weddings

Wrest Park House and Gardens

Yalding Organic Gardens started with the generous gift of 10 acres of land, and a sum of money in trust, from Donald and Pixie Cooper, who owned an organic farm at Yalding; with the intention of setting-up a display garden for the Henry Doubleday Research Association - now Garden Organic.

Opened in April 1995, Garden Organic Yalding, near Maidstone in Kent, tells the history of gardening in an imaginatively landscaped setting. Visitors travel through representations of ancient woodlands, medieval physic, knot and paradise gardens and a 19th century artisans plot, borders inspired by Gertrude Jekyll's ideas, before reaching a 1950s 'Dig for Victory' Allotment.

The gardens were recently sold as a Wedding and Events venue and it therefore should be noted that the gardens are now closed and no longer open to the public.

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