The modern landscape has a secular ancestor, the venerable historic English gardens. Encompassing centuries of life, different gardening styles and mixtures, each of them has its uniqueness thanks to its past and influencers. Oasis of joy far from the city’s hustle and bustle, these gardens and parks offer inspiration and relaxation. Let’s walk through some of the most amazing English gardens:
A mix of elements put together, on an otherwise common land, succeeded the exploit of becoming UNESCO World Heritage Site and this has a name – Studley Royal Water Garden, in North Yorkshire. Developed on the basis of the Fountains Abbey, a 12th century monastic ruins, some of the most complex Cistercian ruins in Europe, together with a medieval era deer park and a 18th Georgian style water garden results a spectacular English flavored spot. The centuries old garden with its woods, cascades, ornamental lakes, neo-classic temples, canals and statuary samples compose dream vistas and a serene out of time atmosphere. Other not to be missed attractions here at Studley Royal Water Garden are the impressive Jacobean mansion and the Victorian style church. Simply gorgeous!
Hidcote Manor Garden, in Gloucestershire, proved to be a true “Arts and Crafts” style garden, masterpiece of a passionate plantsman and product of his artistic and aesthetics sense. Hidcote Manor Garden is famous for its collection of rare species of shrubs, trees and plants brought from other continents and its original design. Conceived as a cascade of “rooms”, each with its own personality and plants combination, and flowering during different periods of the year, a year round spectacle is directed. The gardens hide several inviting spots carefully pictured, splendid views of the Vale of Evesham, the central gazebo, a glasshouse or a circular pool crowned with roses. A small piece of heaven not only for botanists or avid gardeners, but for all those who adore the nature in all its phases and aspects.
An internationally famed garden, in the proximity of London, Sissinghurst Castle Garden tends to be an oriflamme of the English style garden and is the last century creation of the writer Vita Sackville-West. Sissinghurst property owned an Elizabethan Palace that was saved from ruin and brought to life, to what is nowadays a charming spot. The turbulent history of Sissinghurst from prison, to private home, to the Rose Garden of England, that became today, can be traced through ancient walls and remains. What is called the Sissinghurst’s garden is in fact a suite of about ten different gardens, each with its character and separated by hedges and walls, the most loved among them is the Rose Garden that still conserves great part of Vita’s original roses among the several hundred cultivars planted here. Riding, calm peaceful walking or local wildlife spotting are some of the activities that you may enjoy here. Poetic, romantic and serene, an expression of the majestic mother nature would be the definition of this garden.
A premium botanical garden in England today, unknown two decades ago, the historic garden of Heligan was considered by The Times a revelation after “…the garden restoration of the century”. Covered by weeds for too much time, a real secret garden, today The Lost Gardens of Heligan were given their well-deserved place. This exuberant 200-acre area hides jungle promenades with tropical species, mysterious grottoes, a selection of lakes and a farm. A great place to explore on sunny days, through this somehow wild environment, among rhododendrons of Sikkim, tree ferns of New Zealand, alpine ravine or Italian style garden. Or maybe you prefer loafing within the bamboo tunnels, banana plantations, luxuriant arbors and striking views, dreaming to distant territories.
Vestige of a glorious past, Leeds Castle is the testimony of a millennia old history and a long row of metamorphosis: Norman fortification, royal residence of medieval queens, Jacobean provincial residence, Georgian mansion, refuge for the rich and famous and lately one the most popular historic spots within the country. Influences of the former owners can be felt within the various rooms of the castle, showing accents of the medieval age or the Tudor’s, within the collections of furniture, porcelain or art. This former palace of Henry VIII, with its today’s gardens and parkland is a place of historic adventure for the whole family. The principal attraction is the yew trees Maze, composed of no less than 2400 trees, in circular shape, reflected in a queen crown form. Once the maze solved, an underground grotto is your way out to the civilization. Some curious falconry display, or a ride on the castle’s train to visit the property by land or by water with the Black Swan Ferry Boat will make your day special. Positioned on two islands in the middle of a luxuriant lake, together with its glorious gardens, adventurous playgrounds and events schedule, Leeds Castle offer a privileged experience to each visitor.