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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
National Gardens Open for Charity
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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's World Woodland Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden, London Cholmondeley Castle Gardens, Cheshire
Constable Burton Hall Gardens, Yorkshire 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
Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire Hodnet Hall Gardens, Shropshire
Houghton Lodge Garden, Hampshire Howick Hall Gardens, Northumberland
Kew Royal Botanic Gardens Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Gloucestershire
Kingston Maurward Gardens, Dorset Leonardslee Lakes and Garden
Lullingstone Castle and the World Garden, Kent Mapperton Garden, Dorset
Marks Hall Garden and Arboretum, Essex Minterne Gardens and House
Ness Botanic Gardens Newstead Abbey Gardens, Nottinghamshire
Normanby Hall Country Park Pashley Manor Gardens, East Sussex
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 Stourhead Landscape Garden, Wiltshire
Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire Swiss Garden, Bedfordshire
Thorp Perrow Arboretum and Falcon Conservation Centre, Yorkshire Trull House Garden, Gloucestershire
Wakehurst Place Gardens, West Sussex Westbury Court Garden, Gloucestershire
Weston Park House and Gardens, Shropshire Westonbirt National Arboretum, Gloucestershire
Wollerton Old Hall Garden, Shropshire
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
Mount Stuart Gardens and Grounds Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
The Gardens of the National Trust for Scotland Threave Estate and Gardens
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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