Gardens of the World – England
The English landscape is overflowing with magnificent gardens. This is not a surprise considering that the English, at all levels of society, have long been keen gardeners. From allotments to extravagant royal gardens, England has it all. In fact, it was hard to narrow it down to just three of the best!
Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens)
Found in London, England, this is one of the world’s most famous gardens and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was created in 1759 by Prince Frederick and Princess Augusta, the parents of George III. The garden grew in size to eventually absorb the Royal Park and today spans 121 hectares (300 acres). It boasts the world’s largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections with more than 30 000 plant species. Kew Gardens includes vast and breathtaking landscapes, historic buildings, and a range of rare and interesting plant life. It is also part of the Millenium Seed Bank which have collected and conserved seed from 10% of the world’s flowering plant species. They aim to conserve 25% by 2020. Entry to the gardens are free and you can even hop on board the Kew Explorer, a train which will take you on a 40 minute tour of the gardens.
RHS Garden, Wisley
The RHS Garden at Wisley was established in 1878 by George Fergusson Wilson, a businessman, scientist, inventor, and horticulturalist. Back then only a fraction of the 24 hectares (60 acres) was cultivated whilst the rest remained a wooded farmland. In 1903 the estate was given to the Royal Horticultural Society. The garden is a perfect example of English high-style gardening and is a feast for the eyes. It takes 90 groundskeepers to keep it looking lush and attracts over a million visitors each year. The garden not only boasts an incredible array of greenery but is also home to some beautiful architectural accents, such as the giant Glasshouse which is home to over 5000 different tropical plants. The RHS also hosts a range of events throughout the year including family activities, craft and design fairs, the Wisley Flower Show and A Taste of Autumn.
Lost Gardens of Heligan
One of the most fascinating gardens in England can be found in Cornwall. This mysterious garden was the seat of the Tremayne family for more than 400 years. However, with the outbreak of WW1 many of the estate’s workforces left to fight and sadly did not return. The estate remained untouched until it was sold off some time in the 70’s and split into apartments. After a devastating hurricane in 1990, the gardens seemed lost to history. The derelict gardens were discovered by sheer luck not long after that. Tim Smit and John Willis, both Tremayne descendants, discovered a tiny door in the ruins which led to the discovery and subsequent restoration of the once great estate. The 200 acre plot now boasts jungle walks (featuring real tropical plants), enchanting grottos, lakes, and a farm with geese, ducks, cows, and sheep.
With so many to choose from, this was just the tip of the iceberg of breathtaking English gardens. Other gardens worth a look are:
Stourhead Gardens, Wiltshire
Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden
The Home of Charles Darwin
The Topiary Gardens at Levens Hall
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Find your inspiration in the gardens of the famous Gardens of England.