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Visiting London Gardens (suggestions please!)

West Plains, MO(Zone 6b)

Hello! My DH and I are going to be visiting London and Paris at the end of September/first of October. I am already set to visit Monet's garden while we are in Paris, now I'm trying to decide on which garden to spend time visiting in London. I would spend all our time there visiting as many as possible, but I'm afraid it wouldn't be a good time for my DH. =) Does anyone have a favorite garden in London that would take half a day (or less) to go through? I am especially interested in getting design ideas. I searched online for London gardens, and they all look so beautiful, I just can't decide. Thanks for your help!

You could try the National Gardens Scheme, these are often private gardens, opened for charity on certain days per year. They also have some of the larger public gardens included if you don't mind wandering through a few acres.

If you are interested in gardening I find the NGS scheme offer a more rounded view of real UK gardens rather than the large stately homes and public gardens which are set to a rather different style than most of us could possibly accomplish.

Of course private gardens and incomparable to Kew but are great for a short visit and some have group openings so you can visit several in one village or street. There is usually a chance for a cream tea, a chat to the owner and other gardeners nosing around someones back yard. These aren't just folk opening up their garden though, each garden goes through a strict quality and safety set of standards before they are allowed to open so they are among the best private gardens in the UK.

The website link is below, you can set a postcode for your hotel and find gardens within a set radius. There's a description with each one so you see if it interests you. At the time of year you are arriving you may not find many open but some are open in October, some also open by appointment at other times of the year as well.


This message was edited Aug 31, 2010 1:26 PM

West Plains, MO(Zone 6b)

Oh, that sounds wonderful! You are right, the larger gardens' designs may be difficult to accomplish on a smaller scale. I will look into that website. Thanks very much!

Burwash Weald, United Kingdom(Zone 9b)

I agree with Baa about the NGS scheme - the private gardens are special.

But having said that, visiting London without seeing some of the large formal gardens: in Regent's park there are three that I think are a must at that time of year - Queen Mary's Rose Garden with its long boarders of mixed herbacious plants, the Broadwalk in the SE corner of the park, and the small Italianate Garden on the Inner Circle are all worth seeing. The scale of the Parks are also superb, as is their history. Worth doing a bit of research. If the weather is good walking through any of the parks is lovely - and there are some very good places to stop and eat, particulary in Hyde Park. If you are staying in Central London it is possible to walk through a park on route to another venue - say through Hyde Park to the V&A (which has a lovely quilting show on right now, along with my favourite - an exhibition of small houses which you can enter, the teahouse alone is worth the trip to London)!

Enjoy your trip.

Navan, Ireland

And, of course, don't miss out the R.H.S. garden at Wisley, near Guildford. It is alway first on my trips to the U.K south.

Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

I liked Kew a lot....

Eric, did you make the trip yet??

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
McLean, VA

I will be in the UK in May. I'm hoping to go to the Chelsea Garden Show for one day. What else could I do with another full day? I will be based in London. I have previously done Kew, Hampton Court Palace, Sisinghurst and RHS Wisley and loved them all. Has anyone been to David Austin or Hidcote? Views? Appreciate your insights! Thank you.

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