Please note: Gardens not ‘actively’ linked do not have a current web site.

Parts of the brief garden descriptions reproduced on this web site (and all photographs) are from the garden web sites themselves, literature available at the gardens or the ‘Yellow Books’ and are the copyright of the originators.

If there is a garden not listed, or you have additional details of a garden already listed that you think should be included in this digest of gardens and arboretums, then please Add a Garden to our Garden Digest. Gardens need not be large but should be ‘memorable’, ‘outstanding’ or of ‘significant importance’. If a garden does not have web site, a brief description would be appreciated. Some plant nurseries have also been included where they have interesting, specialised or spectacular gardens open for viewing – usually free!

Visitors from overseas may be interested to know that many hundreds of private gardens – which also qualify as Essential British Gardens – are open to the public for short periods every year in support of charities. Some local details are usually available from tourist offices, but brief descriptions and national schedules can be found in two ‘Yellow Books’ – Gardens of England and Wales Open for Charity and The Scotland’s Gardens Guidebook. The Yellow Book lists county by county the gardens that open for the NGS. Each county has a diary section listing all the days when mostly private gardens open their gates to the public to raise money for charity. Short descriptions about the gardens include directions, opening dates and times. Both are available at any good book shop and are well worth an investment of £13.99 (England & Wales) and £7.00 (Scotland). Some of these gardens can be visited at unscheduled times by arrangement and telephone numbers are given in the ‘Yellow Books’.

In addition, the ‘Yellow Book’ also lists over 100 gardens offering bed & breakfast, self-catering or hotel accommodation, making the ‘Yellow Book’ an even more enjoyable travelling companion.

National Plant Collections are colour highlighted throughout the regional pages.

The following abbreviations have been used throughout the regional pages:

NT = National Trust
NTS = National Trust for Scotland
RHS = Royal Horticultural Society
EH = English Heritage
V = Victorian Gardens