Most you who follow my blog know I describe myself as a keen if clueless gardener, so I’m always happy to take advice from the best. We’re very lucky that some of Britain’s most beautiful gardens – from the Alnwick Garden (see photo above, The Walled Garden © Richard West (cc-by-sa/2.0)) to the grounds of Kensington Palace – are open for us to visit and to be inspired by.
For this post, I’ve teamed up with Oldrids & Downtown*, retailers of some lovely conservatory furniture, to get you in the mood for sunny days in our own gardens, and to discover some of our country’s most beautiful gardens at the same time.
Kensington Palace Gardens
Take yourself off to the magical world of Neverland by visiting the Kensington Palace Gardens – did you know they were the key inspiration behind the famous children’s book, Peter Pan? As well as being home to some of our royals, the palace is world-renowned for its spectacular garden space. The Sunken Garden makes for lovely peaceful stroll.
The palace prides itself on keeping up with the historic traditions that were once in place. In the spring, tulips, pansies and wallflowers bloom, whilst during summer, you should see geraniums, cannas and begonias pop out with colour. So something different to admire all year round.
One of the most popular attractions of the gardens is the Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground, which is perfect for a day out with the kids. So you’ll be able to take plenty of pics!
Biddulph Grange Garden
If you’re looking for a garden to open your eyes to different cultures, a trip to the National Trust’s Biddulph is a must. The 15-acre land is split into different sections representing different countries across the globe. Chinese, Egyptian and multiple other themes run throughout.
The Egyptian landscape includes towering square hedges and a grand temple protected by two pairs of sphinxes. A mysterious passageway leading to the temple is lit by red lights, and there’s also stained-glass window, which allows you to see the detail of the monkey-god sculptures.
The beauty of the China Garden is that it brings the entire Chinese culture to one place. Bright reds, yellows and greens are featured on all of the structures, from pond bridges to pagodas. The garden also includes a pagoda tree, paulownia tomentosa, azaleas, bamboos, hostas and more, as well as other plants from Japan, Britain and America.
There’s so much to see at the Biddulph Grange Garden, so do remember to take your phone or camera, because there’ll be plenty of brilliant photo opps for Instagram!
The Alnwick Garden
Visiting the Alnwick Garden is like stepping into another world. Home to fountains, poison gardens and one of the biggest treehouses in the world, this 14-acre site has it all. The 3rd Duke of Northumberland brought seeds from all over the world to populate the garden with flowers and now the site has over 200 species of plants — including some which are deadly.
Whatever you do, don’t miss their Poison Garden, locked by cast-iron gates with skull plaques saying “These Plants Can Kill”! The garden includes strychnos nux-vomica, hemlock, ricinus communis and even more deadly plants. However, it aims to educate people on drugs too, by featuring cannabis, coca and papaver somniferum – opium.
If you love an adventure, the Treehouse that’s been built from sustainable Canadian cedar, Scandinavian redwood as well as English and Scots pine, is the place you should head for. The wobbly rope bridges will lead you to the Treehouse café and restaurant, where their trunks power through the flooring!
Spoilt for choice
Wow, there’s so much inspiration here, as well as some fabulous days out. We are so very lucky to have such a wonderful range of beautiful landscapes and attractions to visit. I think Alnwick is top of my list (those gates!), but which garden do you think you might head to this summer?
* This is a sponsored post.