Britain is home to some of the most beautiful gardens – from The Alnwick Garden (including the Poison Garden) to the grounds of Kensington Palace. For this article, we’ve teamed up with Oldrids and Downtown, retailers of stunning conservatory furniture to highlight some of the most beautiful gardens in the country. We hope they will inspire you to inject something new to your outside space as the sunnier days arrive now that spring has sprung.
Kensington Palace Gardens
Whisk yourself off to the world of Neverland by visiting the incredible Kensington Palace Gardens, which was the key inspiration behind the famous children’s book series Peter Pan. This is such a magical garden and I have fond memories of walking around it with my brother on a very happy white Christmas many years ago.
As well as being home to some royals, the palace is world renowned for its spectacular garden space. The Sunken Garden will make for an intimate experience and allow you to develop your peace of mind during your stroll. It’s the very place where Prince Harry introduced the world to his bride-to-be this year.
The palace prides itself on its gardens, and keeps up with historic traditions when it comes to planting. In the spring, tulips, pansies and wallflowers bloom, whilst during summer, you will see geraniums, cannas and begonias pop out with colour. This is why it is great to visit at different times of year for a whole new experience each time.
Check out the marble Queen Victoria Statue that sits in the East entrance of Kensington Palace. Celebrate children in the Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground.
According to ALVA, Kensington Palace had a 4% increase in visits during 2016 — with 397,285 visits in total.
Biddulph Grange Garden
If you’re looking for a garden that will open your eyes to different cultures, a trip to Biddulph will do just this. The 15-acre land is split into different sections that represent different countries across the globe, with Chinese, Egyptian and multiple themes running throughout. It will give you a greater perspective to gardening features around the world. I love this idea and have yet to visit certain that my children and I would learn so much.
The Egyptian landscape includes towering square hedges and a grand temple protected by two pairs of sphinxes. The temple has detailed stonework with bright colours that accompany the golden yews that were planted within this area. A mysterious passageway that leads to the temple is lit by red lights and there’s also stained-glass window which allows you to see the detail of the monkey-god sculptures and more. If you can’t afford a trip to Egypt, this will give you a good feel for the country.
The beauty of The China Garden is that it brings the entire Chinese culture to one place. Using colour to its advantage, bright reds, yellows and greens are featured on all of the structures within the garden — from pond bridges to pagoda’s. The garden also includes a pagoda tree, paulownia tomentosa, azaleas, bamboos, hostas and more, as well as plants from Japan, Britain and America.
There is so much to see at the Biddulph Grange Garden, so remember to take your smartphone because there will be plenty of aesthetically pleasing photo opportunities! Your Instagram feed will rock after a visit to this special place.
The Alnwick Garden
Visiting The Alnwick Garden is like stepping into another world. Home to famous fountains, poison gardens and one of the biggest treehouses in the world — this place has it all. The 14-acre site has a history of plant growth, as the 3rd Duke of Northumberland brought seeds from all over the world to populate the garden with blooming flowers and generate a unique spark within the community. Now, the site has over 200 species of plants — including some which are deadly so watch out!
What makes this location different to any other on our list is that they have a Poison Garden. But the question is, are you brave enough to enter? Locked by cast-iron gates with skull plaques saying “These Plants Can Kill”, the garden includes strychnos nux-vomica, hemlock, Ricinus communis and more deadly plants. However, the garden stands for a much greater purpose as it aims to educate people on drugs by featuring cannabis, coca and papaver smniferum.
If you love an adventure, the treehouse that has been built from sustainable Canadian cedar, Scandinavian redwood as well as English and Scots pine is the place you should be going. The wobbly rope bridges will lead you to the treehouse café and restaurant, where trunks power through the flooring and make for a remarkable experience.
Which garden will you visit first and why?