Five really enchanting gardens to visit this summer
It has to be said that few if any countries can boast as many superb gardens as here on Britain, The list is long, but we have chosen just five which we believe you will enjoy and we have not chosen the most famous, in this way you will not be troubled with hordes of people.
Starting in the Scottish borders Kailzie, Peebles is a delightful 25 acre garden is something that all ages can enjoy, from a walled garden, greenhouses, and throughout the garden there are plenty of statues fountains and extensive woodland trails. A nice touch is that there are plenty of seats to allow for time to rest and also to take in the views across the Tweed Valley. As an added attraction for a small extra cost you can visits the bird hide and watch ospreys high up in the trees. For the young ones there is a putting green and a children’s’ corner. Open until October 31, 11am-5.30pm. Adults £4, concessions £3.50 (kailziegardens.com).
Logan Botanic Garden
Staying in Scotland but across to the west side is the Logan Botanic Garden, which is considered to be Scotland’s most exotic garden. Thanks to the Gulf Stream and generally warm air, all sorts of unexpected plants flourish here. You will imagine that you have been transported to sunnier climes with the collection of tree ferns, cabbage palms, cordylines, huge fuchsias, hydrangeas and a large collection of eucalyptus. The walled garden, not to be outdone has abutilons from Brazil, bottlebrushes from Australia and tall spikes of blue echium from the Canary Islands, these flowerbeds are awash with colour. In the woodland garden you can enjoy views of the Galloway hills as well as well as the many unusual shade-and moisture-loving plants. Open daily until October 31, 10am-5pm. Adults £6, children go free (rbge.org.uk/the-gardens/logan).
Levens Hall Gardens
Moving down into the Lake District, the Levens Hall gardens is not to be missed, this garden has been in the hands of the same family for more than four hundred years and the layout of the garden has hardly changed. Absolutely breath-taking is the extraordinary topiary, which transforms the garden into a living sculpture gallery. Walking around you can see over a hundred pieces displayed, these consist of many abstract shapes, plus much more recognisable chess pieces, umbrellas, kings, queens and peacocks. As well as the topiary the beautiful herbaceous borders should not be missed along with the herb garden and a very clever recreation of a 17th-century garden with bedding plants. Open Sunday to Thursday until October 8, 10am-5pm. Entry £9, children £3. Family ticket, £21 (levenshall.co.uk).
Arley Hall and Gardens
Staying in the North West of England Arley Hall and Gardens has been in the same family for 250 years and it is renowned for what is believed to have been the first herbaceous border in England, laid down in 1840. These long borders are separated by a broad grass walk, with buttressed yews on either side, these make a glorious sight in the summer months with beautiful and colourful flowers. Follow this up by viewing the pleached lime avenue, kitchen, herb and walled gardens and the extensive woodland walk, most certainly a garden to take time over and linger. Open daily until end October, 11am-5pm; adults £8, children £3.50, family ticket (two adults and three children) £20 (arleyhallandgardens.com).
Garden House in Devon
Travelling now to the South West, the Garden House in Devon, is described as the original Forties garden, all designed around a medieval tower, this has been expanded over the years to cover ten acres. Set in a tranquil Devon valley, there are more than 6,000 varieties of plants and many different planted areas to explore. See it now at its best in the summer period, colourful flowers mingling with ornamental grasses. Add to this the cottage garden, quarry garden, arboretum, sunken garden and terraced areas, complete with many colourful herbaceous borders. The Garden House is a delight and is open daily until November 1, 10.30am-5pm (closed Mondays in September and October). Adults £7.70, children £3.30 (thegardenhouse.org.uk).