Places to visit for garden inspiration
Of all Britain’s attractions, our gardens saw the largest increase in visitors in 2017. Evidently, Britain’s outdoor spaces still hold a great deal of appeal. In the hope of inspiring you to work on your own garden, we’ve discussed some of the most popular and interesting outdoor spaces the country has to offer. For the in-the-know gardener, we’ve even included some hidden gems that you are sure to have overlooked.
Blenheim Palace and Gardens, Cotswolds
Blenheim Palace is perfect for a family day-out. Rich with history, it’s home to gardens that are the culmination of hundreds of years of shaping and sculpting. A blend of attractions both old and new, there’s enough to captivate visitors with vastly differing interests. As well as the lavish gardens, ornate statues and grand buildings, artwork is scattered throughout the grounds so there’s an abundance of things to admire. Whether it’s old - the architecture of the palace and the thousands of antiques contained within - or new – contemporary art exhibitions (Maurizio Cattelan is the next of six artists who have displayed work at Blenheim) there’s something for everyone.
Down House, London
Down House is worth a visit not only for the variety of plant species on show, but also because of the historical significance of the place. Walking through Down House and its grounds, you’ll learn a lot about the man who’s house it was: Charles Darwin. It’s where the famous biologist penned On the Origin of Species and redefined man’s history. Take a trip to the picturesque house and gardens that inspired one of science’s most significant figures.
Chelsea Physic Garden, London
Among the oldest botanical gardens in Britain (it was founded in 1673) the Chelsea Physic Garden is a must-visit for avid gardeners. Its location – in the middle of Chelsea – makes it easily accessible and provides a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The garden is famous for the variety of species grown – everything from medicinal, edible and even poisonous plants are on show. Keep an eye out for the engaging and informative talks that the venue hosts throughout the year.
Pure Land Japanese Garden, Nottinghamshire
Head to Nottinghamshire for an untypically English garden experience. Buddha Maitreya, a meditation master, transformed a field into a Japanese garden that has captured plaudits from everyone from Reader’s Digest to ITV. Replete with koi ponds, rock gardens and a crystal garden, it provides visitors with a very different perspective on what aspects of your garden should be prioritised. Japanese gardens are designed to imitate the essence of nature rather than its appearance and, as such, you might be surprised by the layout and contents of the Pure Land Japanese garden. Lantern lit summer evenings are the best way to take it all in.
Three very different – but equally interesting – locations in the UK that provide crucial insights into the kind of gardens you can create – with some careful planning and perseverance - at home.
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