gardens to Visit
(see also Gardening and Garden Make-overs)
Never has there been a wider range of gardens to visit. From the one or two local private gardens that often get together to open their gardens under the National Gardens Scheme, to the gardens of National Trust Houses and many others like them, to the show gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society, and of course the Chelsea Flower Show and its counterpart at Hampton Court. So many to visit, so much skill on display, so much to admire, that you have to make choices. How do you decide? For those with special interests, there is the never-ending pleasure of learning more and more about your chosen subject. I know of one dentist who is itching to retire so that he can grow more and more wonderful orchids!
Royal Horticultural Society - members’ umbrella organisation for gardening enthusiasts throughout the country, has show gardens in Surrey (Wisley), Devon (Rosemoor) and Yorkshire (Harlow Carr). Sponsors annual Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Show. Has library in London and Plant Library at Wisley in Surrey.
Address etc: 80 Vincent Square, London SW1 P 2PE;
tel 020 7834 4333.
Websites: Gardens and Events, show, tickets, dates and times; email@example.com; Advisory Services: firstname.lastname@example.org; Trials email@example.com; Education, careerinfo, or schools or exams or bursaries, all @rhs.org.uk
Monthly Journal ‘The Garden’ (has information each month about gardens open and about events at gardens throughout the country.)
The RHS (see above) publishes regular details of gardens open and events; the National Gardens Scheme publishes an annual booklet of gardens open for one or a few days a year, together with details of these gardens and how to get to them (there are also regional versions of this publication) - all available on newstands and from booksellers.
National Gardens Scheme. Local gardeners can submit their gardens for inclusion in this scheme, under which gardens are opened for charity, for one or a few days each year - often a number of gardens in the same village or area will be open on the same day. Many such gardens do teas and offer plants for sale; and some have other additional attractions. See above for information about when gardens are open (or www.ngs.org.uk).
National Trust Gardens. The National Trust’s annual publications list all their properties, and those of them that have gardens open to the public, (together with their opening times etc.) (www.nationaltrust.org.uk, or for Scotland, www.nts.org.uk or for Ireland www.dublingardens.com.)
Kew Gardens; world famous heritage site, with unique collections of plants and substantial garden area.
See also the Daily Telegraph The Good Gardens Guide by Peter King and Katherine Lambert, also available in paperback (ISBN 0711225672).
Details of local gardens open can be found in gardening magazines; often also in local papers and local or regional magazines.