Our Favourite Gardens
April is the cruellest month. The morning will promise sunshine, only to give way to sudden hail storms and freezing wind, bruising and blasting the blossom from the magnolia trees and reminding us that whilst our European cousins may be starting to get ready for the beach, we are still very much in woolly sock territory. But none of this should stop you enjoying our gardens and open spaces. Pack a picnic, dress for all weathers, and plan a visit to a favourite outdoor space. Here are some of our Spring suggestions:
We love the unexpected grandness of Somerleyton, one of Britain’s finest Victorian stately homes, with over 12 acres of beautiful gardens to explore, located near Lowestoft in Suffolk. Marvel at the formal parterre which was restored in 2014 before losing yourself in the walled garden, a former kitchen garden and now home to a riot of herbaceous plants, ferns, shrubs and tender specimens. The recently planted sunken garden, the White Garden, is a beautiful haven to insects and the Victorian yew maze is impossibly difficult.
Closet fans of a clipped box and should head to Levens Hall in Cumbria, home to the world’s oldest topiary collection, a mild-blowing collection ancient yew and box, shaped into abstract and geometric forms and underplanted with thousands of ever-changing bedding plants, all grown in the estate’s greenhouses. The garden is also home to some of the finest herbaceous boarders we have ever seen, as well as a beautiful wildflower meadow and the first recorded ha-ha.
Shop Wildflower Walks Collection
Here come the buttercups, the bluebells, the dandelions and the daisies, all rioting into the garden to herald the start of Spring.Shop collection
Sissinghurst Castle Garden
You just cannot beat Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent, created as a symbol of love and horticultural ambition by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson who transformed the ruins of this Elizabethan house and gardens in the 1930’s. With its informal planting and beautiful setting it remains one of the most romantic and evocative places imaginable. The garden is divided into a series of rooms: the White Garden, the Purple Border, the Rose Garden, the Lime Walk, the Herb Garden, and (our favourite) the Cottage Garden.
Beth Chatto was way ahead of her time when she started to promote the idea of a low-maintenance, drought tolerant garden, all based on the premise of working with the natural environment and selecting plants according to suitability and tolerance. She transformed a piece of wasteland in Essex that was considered unfit for farming, and in doing so introduced us to the concept of gravel gardening. Set up as an experiment in a former car park, her Gravel Garden is unique in that it has never been watered and is now home to a spectacular display on drought-resistant plants. It is a truly inspirational place to visit as we try to adapt to the challenges of climate change.
Hitchin Lavender Farm
It’s time to buy tickets to visit the Hitchin Lavender Farm which opens its gates to the public at the beginning of July when their acres of lavender begins to flower. Situated on the rolling slopes of the Wilbury Hills in North Hertfordshire, the intensity of the deep purple fields, not to mention their wonderful smell, is intoxicating.
Have you visited the Lupin Field in the West Sussex village of Terwick? It is the most magical place in late May and early June when the field is filled with jaunty pink, purple and red self-seeded lupins, originally planted by the Reverend George Laycock at the turn of the Twentieth Century, and now owned by the National Trust. Set against a backdrop of the distant South Downs, use it as the starting point for a day of walking.
Outdoor Tableware & Picnic Sets
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Flowers & Plants
Explore your favourite gardens Shop Flowers & Plants
Chilly's x Emma Bridgewater - Metal Water Bottles & Coffee Cups
Don't forget the tea! Shop Chilly's x Emma Bridgewater - Metal Water Bottles & Coffee Cups