On a cold, wet day like today it is good to look back on some of the lovely garden visits I have enjoyed this year.
I started the year with the wonderful winter garden at Anglesey Abbey at Lode near Cambridge. This National Trust garden is a tonic on a cold January day.
In February I spent a lovely cold but sunny day at Chippenham Park in Cambridgeshire which is a joy in winter.
Beth Chatto’s garden in Essex is wonderful all year round but Spring is my favourite time to go. I love the under-planting in her woodland and round her ponds.
The gravel garden at Beth Chatto’s is world famous and justly so, it looks good all year round. The next photo was taken in May.
May is my favourite time for visiting Kew Gardens because the trees are all fresh and the wonderful Rhododendrons and azaleas are at their best.
The amazing palm House is full of tropical treasures. I love the giant water lilies; Victoria amazonica. You expect to see Jeremy Fisher leaping across them.
June is of course rose time. It is also the time when everyone’s garden is at its best. But if you love roses then now is the time to visit the best rose garden in the country at Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire. This garden was designed by that great rosarian, Graham Thomas. it consists of four rose gardens in a four acre site. The gardens are enclosed by walls which keep the scent in and display the wonderful climbing roses. The roses don’t sit alone and gawky in their beds as in an old-fashioned rose garden. They are set off by catmint ,peonies, campaunlas. foxgloves and dianthus to name but a few.
It is difficult to name a favourite amongst so many glorious roses but R. ‘Lady Waterer’ was looking wonderful with big blowsy pink flowers and it flowers again in late summer.
When in Hampshire I always visit West Green garden created by the very talented Marilyn Abbbot. It is run by the National Trust and I think it is one of the best designed gardens in the country. Marilyn’s eye for colour is second to none and you come away for so many ideas for colour combinations.
The moongate frames the next garden beautifully.
There was no label on this gorgeous iris but I would love to grow it in my garden, can anyone tell me its name?
The Alice in Wonderland garden looks good all year round. It is mostly green with lots of topiary and touches of the brightest red which look as if they have just been painted on.
I would love a beautiful green house to display perfectly grown plants but my greenhouse is a workshop really where all the propagating takes place and it always looks rather a mess. I don’t like people looking at it; it’s rather like people looking into an engine room or a very untidy utility room. I would love to have a stylish greenhouse like the one at West Green but I can only dream.
A late summer visit to Houghton Hall was a chance to see the huge walled garden which has been very imaginatively planted. My abiding memory of this garden though was the amazing fountain: ‘Water Flame’ designed by Jeppe Hein. Garden visiting makes you covetous; not only do I want a greenhouse like Marilyn Abbot’s but how can I live without a flame and water fountain like this?