There is nothing more joyful than visiting other people’s gardens. We are a curious bunch – we all want to see what is behind that garden gate.
I have never visited a garden that I have not enjoyed or appreciated – at any scale, season or time. To immerse yourself in someone else’s garden generates and inspires so many ideas. Different plants to try, different structures and forms, colour – it is endless and such a pleasure to take home a little creativity and inspiration from other gardens to try in your own.
And Hew and I should know as this year we have visited some utterly glorious gardens both near and far. In Suffolk we have enjoyed going to a hidden jungle at Henstead Exotic Garden – a hardy exotic garden on the East Coast filled with towering bamboos, lush palms, bananas, tree ferns, streams and waterfalls. We loved the magnificent Grade 1 listed gardens at Helmingham Hall, the enchanting 7 acre creation on the banks of the River Lark at Fullers Mill and the ingeniously designed gardens at Wyken Vineyards.
We marvelled at the vast swathes of snowdrops at Chippenham Park, at the beautiful gardens of Anglesey Abbey with its sweeping avenues, classical statues and winter gardens (not to mention an excellent second-hand bookshop) and the superb formal gardens and parkland at Kirtling Tower – all in Cambridgeshire. In Norfolk we were lucky to have a tour with Adrian Bloom at his highly acclaimed Bressingham Gardens.
Our gardening adventures continued further afield with visits to the superb gardens of Millgate House, Kiplin Hall and Eggleston Hall in Yorkshire and the world-famous garden at Hidcote in Gloucestershire.
And last but certainly not least – Rousham in Oxfordshire, one of England’s most important gardens that is completely unspoilt and uncommercialised – just wonderful, tranquil gardens and remains almost as its designer William Kent left it.
We have learnt so much going round all these glorious places and it has been a delight meeting the gardeners and owners and feeling the kinship from the shared love of gardens and gardening.
We hope you will come and visit us at one of our open days in 2023. Until then we wish you all a very Happy Christmas.