CHIRK CASTLE, WALES Awaken your senses at Chirk Castle’s spring display. In the woodland snowdrops make way for daffodils and bluebells, and the tree canopy comes alive with bird song. The shrub garden springs into life with a dazzling display of rhododendrons; they smell beautiful after a late spring shower. Catch Lady Magaret Mydellton’s favourite Irises flowering bright blue in the Long Border paired with an array of colourful Azaleas.
DYFFRYN GARDENS, WALES Enjoy a tropical visit to Dyffryn Garden this spring. Discover the intimate network of secret garden rooms and don’t miss the tropical glasshouse bursting with orchids and banana trees (beware of the dragon arum in late spring- it has a unique smell!). Visit the arboretum at the loose end to see bluebells, anemones, catkins, primroses and lots of blossom. Lighting up the house in late spring are perfectly planted tulips and wisteria on the south terrace.
ANGLESEY ABBEY, CAMBS Visit the grounds of this quintessentially English house for captivating views, vibrant colour and delicious scents in every season. Explore the picturesque working watermill and the wildlife discovery area. In spring, drifts of daffodils flourish throughout the grounds and over 4000 hyacinths emerge in the meticulously maintained flower beds of the formal garden. A sea of delicate tulips will emerge in the mystical Himalayan Silver birch grove to welcome the arrival of spring.
BLICKLING ESTATE, NORFOLK Four centuries of good husbandry have made Blickling’s 55 acre garden one of the greatest in England. It changes through the seasons and has evolved over the centuries to reflect different fashions. Visit in May and follow the winding paths through the great wood. Pass through the carpet of dainty English bluebells in spring; it’s one of the best places to see them in the country. At the heart of the garden, discover one of England’s great Jacobean houses. Don’t miss the fragrant beds of the parterre and inspiring double borders. You’ll find hellebores, daffodils and bluebells, azaleas and rhododendron, wisteria and peonies as well as quiet places to sit and enjoy the view. If you fancy getting active there are around 500 acres of parkland and woods to explore on foot or by bike. If you want to get away from it all, try and find the secret garden – a great place for quiet contemplation and to listen to the spring bird chorus.
SISSINGHURST, KENT Wander through Sissinghurst Castle Garden for inspiring ideas or simply soak up spring. Enjoy the rich, warm colours of the cottage garden and on the Moat Walk discover a bank of bright yellow azaleas. Also known as the spring garden, the lime walk is one area where former owner Harold Nicolson controlled the design and planting. Long beds of tulips, fritillaries and hyacinths are marked out by an avenue of pleached limes, scattered by generous terracotta pots, every inch bursting with colour for about four weeks. Early spring sees this garden become a carpet of colour: pink chinodoxias, scillas and white anemones, looked over proudly by a Magnolia salicifolia and a big, bold mauve rhododendron.
MORDEN HALL PARK, LONDON With diverse landscapes and hidden histories, Morden Hall Park is a green oasis in suburbia. The river meanders through the former deer-park, creating a haven for wildlife. The 2.5 acre garden is the perfect place to relax with friends and family. When you step through the gates, you’d be forgiven for imagining yourself to be in the middle of the English countryside. Surrounded by meadows, trees and the gentle sounds of birdsong and running water, the park offers a rare sense of discovery and a chance to get away from it all. From late May until early September, wander around the 38 flowerbeds on both sides of the stream and take in the wonderful scent of roses and dahlias.
NYMANS WEST SUSSEX This twentieth-century garden has an amazing collection of rare and important plants, bursting with colour in spring. Spot displays of camellias, magnolias and drifts of daffodils. Walk around the garden at your own pace, or join a daily introductory talk or guided tour. One of our best spring highlights is the perfumed, flower filled walled garden. Full of daffodils, wild flowers and blossoms, a walk through the wall garden is a treat for all the senses. Watch out for camellias, magnolias, bluebells and rhododendrons throughout the estate and take a walk in the woodland and wild garden to see all that Nymans has to offer. Inspired by the garden lovers’ home, there is a large shop and plant centre with a special collection of plants grown on site.
GLENDURGAN CORNWALL Lose yourself in the three valleys of Glendurgan Garden – full of fun, natural beauty and amazing plants. Described as a little bit of heaven on earth, this sub-tropical garden blooms with magnolias, wild flowers and woodland flora, including drifts of bluebells during the spring months. There are exotic trees and shrubs dotted around the valley garden. In the spaces between, wildflower areas have been developed over the last twenty years. Enjoy them at their best in spring and early summer. The magnolias are steal the show: enjoy their magnificence and spot many other spring favourites on a walk through the valley garden. Glendurgan was created with family entertainment in mind. The maze, giant’s stride swing and beach are all waiting to be explored.
CLUMBER PARK, NOTTS With 3,800 acres of parkland and gardens, peaceful woodlands and a magnificent lake to enjoy there is plenty of space to explore and relax with your family and friends at Clumber, especially in spring when the woodland is alive with birdsong and a shimmering carpet of bluebells. The beautiful walled kitchen garden is famous for growing hundreds of varieties of fruit, vegetables, herbs, and has the biggest collection of culinary rhubarbs in the country. Clumber Park also boasts the longest avenue of double lime trees in Europe. Planted around 1840 to line one of the main entrances into the Park, the majestic Limetree Avenue is over two miles long.
FOUNTAIN ABBEY, NORTH YORKS Explore the ruins of the twelfth-century Fountains Abbey and spot dainty spring flowers breaking through this stunning landscape. The water garden is just as spectacular with its moon-shaped ponds and classical statuary. Studley Royal Water Garden was the breath-taking vision of John Aislabie and his son William. In the early eighteenth-century John Aislabie had great plans to impress visitors to his Yorkshire estate and turned the wild and wooded valley of the river Skell into one of England’s most spectacular Georgian water gardens. Amazingly the garden you see today is little changed from the one that would have impressed Aislabie’s visitors 200 years ago. Look out for primroses and wood anemones and catch the scent of wild garlic in the woods around the abbey.