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: