10 'in Bloom' National Trust gardens to visit
If getting out and about in your free time is at the top of your to do list then visiting some, or all, of these beautiful National Trust gardens will be right up your street - whatever the weather! The National Trust have over 200 fantastic gardens amongst their 500+ places filled with flowers, incredible landscaping and green spaces in which to relax.
Have you heard of these fantastic and famous gardens?
1. Cragside, Northumberland
One of the most famous gardens owned by the National Trust is Cragside due to its incredible scale and imagination. The creator of the gardens, Lord Armstrong is described as a landscape genius. There are actually three gardens within Cragside, the first being The Formal Garden - a Victorian masterpiece where tulips signal the arrival of the springtime. Next up is The Rock Garden which is one of the largest in Europe and finally, The Pinetum is packed with towering conifer trees which were a symbol of wealth and status in the Victorian era.
2. Blickling Estate, Norfolk
Created by Norah Lindsay, one of the twentieth century’s most sought-after garden designers, Blickling Estate has 4,600 acres of woodland, secret spaces, an Orangery, the Acre and Parade, the Parterre and the Temple. Daily garden tours are run by volunteers to show guests around this incredible place.
3. Biddulph Grange, Staffordshire
Described as ‘the garden of gardens’, Biddulph Grange is home to the Egypt Garden, a secluded area hidden behind beech hedges and dominated by a grand temple doorway and four stone sphinxes. Biddulph Grange gardens are down to the vision of James Bateman from 1841 who spent more than twenty years collecting plants from all over the world. The gardens are laid out to lead visitors from one area to another to discover what’s behind each surprising turn.
If rose gardens are your thing and nothing says British summer more to you than a beautiful garden full of them, look no further than the following three gardens that have an abundance of stunning roses.
4. Barrington Court, Somerset
Amongst the grounds of the South-West’s Barrington Court, an empty Tudor manor that was restored in the 1920s lies the rose and iris garden. Designed by famous garden designer Gertrude Jekyll in an Arts and Crafts style whilst she was in her seventies. Jekyll advised the last leaseholder of the house, Col. Abram Lyle and his wife Elsie on the planting scheme for the roses as she was almost blind at the time of this work. She even had the soil that she recommended for the garden sent to her in biscuit tins which she crumbled herself into the rose beds.
5. Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire
Another gem in the North’s crown is Nostell Priory, built by the Winn family who used to grow roses here to sell to the public. A stunning 100 metre stretch of white roses can be found in the Kitchen Garden, behind the Orangery and an orchard as well as 19 varieties of rhubarb! The vegetables grown go into the dishes that you can eat here at the Courtyard Cafe. As well as fantastic wildlife including woodpeckers, herons and kingfishers, Nostell Priory has the Menagerie Garden which has a gothic feel and gnarled oak trees.
6. Bodnant Garden, Conwy
July and August are the best times to view the beautiful roses at Bodnant Gardens as at this time during mid-summer you could find yourself surrounded by over 1,500 roses in bloom. As well as roses, the summer season at Bodnant Gardens brings an abundance or water lilies, hydrangeas and other summer herbaceous plants.
The weird and wonderful
The following four gardens all have something a little bit different about them and we think you'll love them...
7. Mount Stewart, County Down
Lady Edith Londonderry created the incredible gardens at Mount Stewart which included Mediterranean vibes with an Italian villa landscape. The National Trust are also currently restoring the Walled Garden in order to save the rose garden and one of the oldest grape vines in the UK and Irelands called ‘The White Syrian’. As well as the gorgeous world-class gardens, Mount Stewart has an incredible neo-classical house and a 14-acre wildflower meadow that was used to grow potatoes but is now home to 21 varieties of Irish flowers.
8. Belton House, Lincolnshire
Belton House, featured in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and has a wide range of gardens and grounds to explore. The head gardeners are working to restore The Italian Garden from historic plans and photographs to recreate the herbaceous borders that used to run through the centre of it. Belton also has a Dutch Garden inspired by dutch design with colourful Parterres and symmetrical topiary-lined gravel paths.
9. Powis Castle, Wales
Medieval Powis castle and gardens changes each season and always looks amazing with its layers of the world-class gardens that you can explore over a number of levels. Extreme gardening isn’t something that’s new for the team at Powis, the famous 14 metre high yew tumps have to be kept in fantastic condition and the gardeners and grounds team conduct an epic annual task to keep things fresh. Powis also has a Plant Shop where you can purchase a piece of Powis to take home and could be one of the first energy self-sufficient nurseries in Britain as is generates more energy than it uses!
10. Hanbury Hall and Gardens, Worcestershire
The Great Garden at Hanbury Hall is home to a large display of citrus and exotic plants including pomegranates and agaves planted in pots around the Parterre and Formal Fruit Garden and the Vegetable Garden showcases a range of delicious and definitely edible vegetables throughout the year. Royal Gardeners George London and Henry Wise inspired the restoration for these gardens.
Main image ©National Trust Images/Chris Lacey
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