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Gardens of the UK and Ireland

The gardens of the UK and Ireland vary from a couple of acres to hundreds or even thousands of acres of woodland and parkland. In style they range from a plantsman’s garden to sweeping landscapes, lawns and lakes in the natural ‘Capability’ Brown style. Gardens can be either formal, perhaps with terraces and topiary, or informal in the English country cottage style. Some large gardens combine both aspects. Walled gardens are a feature of many; some of these walled gardens were used for growing vegetables, so are referred to as kitchen gardens.

The gardens were developed from the 1700s to the present day, with a few dating back to medieval times. A garden in Britain is not necessarily planted with flowers that bloom. The word can refer to parkland, woodland, and lawns, perhaps dotted with shrubs or specimen trees.

Monuments and follies were placed in the grounds of early gardens. Bridges and grottoes were built to complete the landscape. Deer parks feature in some of the grounds. Greenhouses survive from Georgian and Victorian days. Some gardens have national collections of a particular type of plant such as roses or camellias. Larger grounds have walks through woodland or along riversides.

Shops, cafes, and nurseries with seeds and plants available for purchase are an added bonus. Some gardens cater to families with adventure playgrounds, special kid-friendly attractions, and picnic areas.

Because they show off different flowers and colours at different times of the year repeat visits bring new surprises and delights. More than a million acres are in gardens, and more than 3000 are open to the public. Take advantage of them and enjoy their varying beauty throughout the year.

Our garden articles have links to each garden’s website, but here are some links of general interest:

Royal Horticultural Society
Parks and Gardens UK Database
National Gardens Open for Charity
The Museum of Garden History
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Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, Dorset Alnwick Garden
Amazing Mazes of Britain Arley Hall and Gardens, Cheshire
Beth Chatto Gardens, Essex Borde Hill Garden Sculptures, Sussex
Borde Hill Garden, Sussex Bourton House Garden, Gloucestershire
Burnby Hall Gardens, Yorkshire Chelsea Physic Garden, London
Cholmondeley Castle Gardens, Cheshire Coton Manor Garden, Northamptonshire
Easton Lodge Gardens, Essex Eden Project , Cornwall
Emmetts Garden, Kent Godinton Gardens, Kent
Goodnestone Park Gardens, Kent Great Comp Garden, Kent
Great Dixter Gardens, Sussex Groombridge Place Gardens and the Enchanted Forest , Kent
Harlow Carr RHS Garden, Harrogate Hatfield House Gardens
Hodnet Hall Gardens, Shropshire Kew Royal Botanic Gardens
Kingston Maurward Gardens, Dorset Leonardslee Lakes and Garden
Mapperton Garden, Dorset Marks Hall Garden and Arboretum, Essex
Ness Botanic Gardens Newstead Abbey Gardens, Nottinghamshire
Royal Landscape Gardens, Greater London Sheffield Park Gardens, East Sussex
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens Photos, Hampshire Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hampshire
Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent Spetchley Park Gardens, Worcestershire
Squerryes Court and Gardens, Kent Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire
Swiss Garden, Bedfordshire Thorp Perrow Arboretum and Falcon Conservation Centre, Yorkshire
Wakehurst Place Gardens, West Sussex Westbury Court Garden, Gloucestershire
Weston Park House and Gardens Westonbirt National Arboretum, Gloucestershire
Wollerton Old Hall Garden
Annes Grove Gardens, County Cork Birr Castle Demesne Gardens, County Offaly
Arduaine Garden, Argyll and Bute Dawyck Botanical Gardens, Borders
Inverewe Garden, Ross-shire, Highland Kailzie Gardens, Borders
Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh The Gardens of the National Trust for Scotland
Lost Garden of Aberglasney, Carmarthenshire National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire
The Clyne Gardens and Singleton Botanical/Ornamental Gardens, Swansea City

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