Loseley Park – roses, weddings and a great garden visit

loosley

As this estate is readily sold off as a wedding venue, I did not have a lot of hope for the garden. The website show off powdered white rooms with tables filled to the rim with white wedding flowers and white table cloths.

I am relieved to say, that the garden is really worth a visit. This property has a lot to offer, so head to Surrey and save 3 hours for this gem of a garden!

Why visit
The garden has strong lines, clipped hedges with masses of romantic loose planting, which is just what I prefer! An easy match!You will find good plant combinations and other inspirations to bring back home.

A white garden, good focal points, classic fountains and water features, kitchen garden, old greenhouses and a canal is some of the exciters in this garden.
The masses of roses, the wine walk, a field of poppies, exotic plants and palms and tall hedges and walls really impressed me.

I especially noticed the clever plant combinations mixing flower heads of spires, buttons, leaves and umbellifers in lovely combinations.

The Kitchen garden was filled with good ideas on how to train soft fruit, attract bees and birds and create some colour in it.

My favorite part must be the white part of the garden. How it is filled with white, dark green, soft green and silver in all heights and widths. (picture in top right in collage) Well done!

History:
The garden sits inside an old wall from the 16th century (as old as the house) and edged by a moat walk. The design is based on a Gertrude Jekyll design. It was improved in the mid 1990s and is probably more lovely now than ever.

Facts:
I would recomend using a car to reach this property near Guildford south of London. (Sat nav Stakescorner Road GU3 1HS) If you need to use public transportation, I would go to Guildford and take a taxi from there.

A mobile tea shop was set up when we visited. Lovely in good weather, but a bit cold when we was there.

The gift shop, had loads of gifts. Was hoping for a bit more garden related gifts, but ended up with some tea towels and some cards. Collected seeds from the garden would have been lovely!

Other places to visit nearby: 
If you wanted to combine this visit with another garden, there are more to pick from in the area. Wisley is the first that comes to mind, but is so big, it might be to much on a single day. I must mention the lovely Winkworth Arboretum which is on its best in autumn, winter and spring.
If you want a cosy place to spend the night nearby I will recommend the tranquil Rookery nook. Best B&B I have ever visited!

Poppies under the bird feeder in the Kitchen garden

Poppies under the bird feeder in the Kitchen garden

Good strong lines with loose romantic planting, just how I prefer it!

Good strong lines with loose romantic planting, just how I prefer it!

Image of the giftshop exterior

Enter and exit through the gift shop. And then you do support something lovely and deserving!

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Botanical gardens in Wales – Mass plantings as you’ve never seen

Collage of images from the gardenI have been to quite a huge range of Botanical gardens, but I must say, I have never seen this huge masses of flowers. We visited in early autumn, and the brightly colored mass plantings really made this day special.

I think people of all ages that visit Botanical gardens do so partly to learn, and this garden is a fine example of a teaching garden.

Our visit
I must advice the order of walking this garden. We made the wrong choice at Circle of Decision and and went from boring landscape into the gardens ending up in a really tense walled garden, and did not enjoy it as much as we could have.

I would therefor recommend doing the walled garden first. It is really crammed with plants, and being tired you will not have the energy to appreciate it.

My absolute favorite part of this garden is the narrow paths running along side the walls from The Circle of Decision, and up to the mirror pool. It was filled with masses of seasonal perrennials. I am not into annuals at all, they are to flashy for me, so seeing this planting really gave inspiration!

At the top of this lovely path is the iconic glasshouse. One big dome filled with exotic plants and a lovely cafe. The rain suddenly visited along us, and it was a real treat having lunch in there. 🙂

The last few years it has been a hobby of mine to research plant history, and I therefor was really surprised and intrigued finding a walled garden dedicated to the work of Alfred Russel Wallace. If it had not been for him, Darwin would never had the guts to publish his work the Origin of Species by Natural Selection which did change everything! This walled garden really shows what genetics have helped us achieve. Mutation, Hybridization and selective breeding – the understanding of the evolution of plants. If you find all this a bit dull and dry, then fear not, this garden is a feast for the eye as well. Loads of sweet peas and Dahlias will make you fumble with your camera wanting to catch it all and bring home.

There are lovely views to the countryside on all sides of this property, but I must say I wished they used more of the landscape around for more secluded paths with trees, rhododendrons and Viburnums. At the moment the tarmac roads surrounded by nothing in particular other than some art here and there, is not enough for me.

Due to all other parts of this garden, I will surely go back!

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Be sure to check out the bee garden and observe and learn a bit about this lovely little helping friend.

Getting there:
The garden is open all year (not christmas day) and the admission fee is £8.50
Satnav: SA32 8HN
You can get to this garden with Bus 166 from Carmarthen Train Station.

A plant nerd like me would probably need a good 5 hours to enjoy this garden, but you could also spend 2-3 good hours just being outdoors  🙂

The plant and gift shop is not overhwelming which is a pitty, I had money to spend, but did not :/

For all other info, check out their informative website

The rill

A bamboo covered sear

Stourhead – The best and biggest landscape garden

Stourhead views

Stourhead views

I was actually visiting another lovely National Trust Garden in Somerset this day. On my way out, I asked if the staff knew of a circular walk in the area. They all looked at each other, big smile, and then they all agreed. “You have to go to Stourhead”.

Well Stourhead was nothing like I expected, and certainly no ordinary public footpath 🙂 It was no garden either. But it was definitely the best walk I have ever had.

Why visit:
Arriving at this garden there is a lovely tea room, a gift shop and a plant shop. I showed my National Trust card and entered the property. I was quite happy to see that dogs are allowed in the afternoons.
After walking just a few minutes I arrived at a walled garden filled with veg and flowers. Greenhouses, cold frames and loads of fruit trees. It was nice, but did not give any hint on what was in store.
After the walled garden you arrive on the main road to the manor house which is huge. It`s not a cozy romantic kind of manor, this is the huge, powerful almost a bit threatening type of building.
I am not very interested in houses as of now, so I just followed the signs for the landscape garden.

Through an open gate and arriving at small opening in the forest, I could suddenly see a temple in the distance. At that moment I understood where I was. I had admired this garden featured on Gardeners World on BBC, and could not believe my luck! I also googled this garden after watching the romantic movie ‘Pride & Prejudice’ where Darcy proposes to Lizzy in the pouring rain outside the Temple of Apollo.

The next 4 hours in this 1072 hectare huge garden, I ran around with my camera trying to capture all the lovely sights.
The sky opened more than once followed by sun, making everything shiny and sparkly with raindrops.
There is a leaflet available listing all the trees and bushes in the garden as everything is numbered.

You really must visit this garden, and when you do, please make sure to spend a few minutes on each bench as they are perfectly placed to give you a wonderful view, promise!!!

History:
The garden was designed by Henry Hoare II (who build and owned the manor in the early 1700s), and was designed to show different views, as a series landscape paintings. A true piece of living art. The huge lake is the center, and around it he added bridges, grottoes, temples and filled it with exotic and rare plants.
National trust took over this property in 1940s, and have kept it really perfect ever since. I think Henry Hoare II would be proud!

Stourhead view against the PantheonStourhead view against the Pantheon
Image of old gate

Loads of old gates, this one takes of from the main path, I wonder where it leads?

How to get there:
Wasminister BA126QD
The garden is situated in Wiltshire. There are no buses or trains near by, so a car is the best option.

Where to stay:
I actually found a perfect B&B / Inn only 40 mins car ride away from Stourhead and very close to about 5 other National Trust gardens.
It is called The fat Pigeon and actually has a really lovely garden it self. 🙂
Not expensive, not the best service, but such a grand estate to stay in!

Marle Place Gardens and Gallery – A masterclass in focal points

Marle Place

Why visit:
This is a private garden, and it has that privat secret feel about it. The small secluded garden rooms parted by long elegant views edged with tightly clippet tall hedges, keeps the intrest and wow-factor until you reach back to your car.

In the far end of this garden, there is a beatiful pond surrounded by peaceful woodland and a bog garden.

Through a big red door you enter the walled kitchengarden. And it is really inspirational, even in april. Filled with tulips waiting for the veg to move in. It also contains fruit cages with happy canary birds living in them, closely observed by the cats outside 🙂

The whole garden is dotted by art. Sculptures in many different forms, always set out as a focal-point that draws you twoards them. If you need innspiration to focal points in your garden, this is the garden to visit.
How ever, you could argue that there are too many of them. At the entrance we were given a map, and we tried for quite some time to follow it, but all the focal points drew us off our course, and away from each other. This garden really shows the strength and weekness you can achieve with focal points.

One of the most exiting things I saw was a big rose bush, tied down to a big circular iron plant support (around the plant). It was then pruned to exactly match the ring. It was not in bloom when I was there, but I bet it is truly magical full of roses.
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Above the Kitchen garden are two lovely greenhouses and a potting shed.
In the shed we bought antique vases and and other gifts. By the entrance is a small plantshop and a DIY tearoom. We also bought some blue and green eggs. 🙂

This is a private garden, first created in 1890. It has some good old conifer trees that gives this modern garden some umpf and maturity.

I recomend this garden, especially if you are intrested in art or just a special garden. Something different. This is also a good garden for autumn and winter.

You can also visit:
This garden is close to The Great Dixter, and you can do both gardens in a day. However I would not recommend to do Sissinghurst also this same day as they all 3 are huge and to much to take in, in one day.

Where to stay:
We stayed at the lovely Bed & breakfast “Chruch gates” in the nearby village of Cranbrook. The owners are a gardener and an artist, and they also offer guided garden visits.

How to get here:
This garden is not available with public transport. You need a car!
It is situated in Kent TN12 7HS
See the webpage for full address

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Glasgow Botanical gardens – with the beautiful glass palace!

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On a rainy late autumn day I spend 3 hours in this lovely garden. Due to the weather I spent more time in the temperate houses then I usually would, and what a treat!
The Botanical gardens in Glasgow are the diamond in the charming area of the West end.

Why visit:
The first thing you see once inside the old beautiful iron gates are the beautiful old glasshouses. The Kibble Palace must be the worlds most beautiful glasshouse with its round feminin forms, yet big and powerfull design.

The areas in the garden that impressed me the most was a vast grass border and the area with bush roses.
The grass borders really seemed alive, full of movement and sound making me want to interact with it, touch it.

There was very few roses in bloom when I was there, but the rose borders still was a huge hit. I have never seen so many different hips. They where long and black, pink and round, some hairy, some yellow and every shape and size you can imagine. And from seeing all the hips, I can promise you that this part of the garden must be spectacular in spring and early summer when all the roses are in bloom!

Walking down to the landscape garden – the arboretum, towards and along the river Kelvin is a really lovely walk. The trees give protection against weather and prying eyes. It seems that bringing a picnic bag from Waitrose and spending the afternoon here, is a popular activity amongst the locals.

The beatiful arboretum with loads of beautiful trees was where I spent most of my time. The garden recently got awarded money to collect and preserve for the National collection of Trees in Scotland. This will probably secure this part of the garden and make the arboretum even more exiting to visit in the years to come.

Kids will love this garden, different play areas are available and also different interaction learning about nature.

A tearoom serve tea, coffee, lunch and sweets.
I did not see the usual gift shop, and I missed it. I would love to buy some seeds and postcards.
As a tourist – visitor, you need to bring something home! 😉

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The gardens history
The property was bought in 1839 founded by the local botanist William Thomas Hooker, and the garden was opened to the public in 1842. Kibble Palace was opened in its current position in 1873 lit by 600 gas lamps. That must have been so spectacular.

You can also visit:
* If you need to warm after the visit you might try the Oran Mor Whiskey bar across the road. Its a beatiful old church converted to a bar!

* If you fancy another Botanical garden then drive the short drive over to Edinburgh. The botanical gardens in Edinburgh seem a bit bigger and maybe a bit more modern, I really love them both!

Getting there:
The gardens is a short walk from the Hill head Underground stop.

If you are visiting Scotland or Glasgow, I highly recommend a visit to this garden, even on a rainy day.

A lovely Bagatelle in Paris – Parc de Bagatelle

Parc de bagatelle

Some years ago, I bought a rose book to get inspiration to my new garden. In it I found fantastic pictures of the garden Parc de Bagatelle. I fell in love on the spot, and I can whole heartedly say, that this garden has influenced me more then any other garden. It was my first ever garden visit!

Getting there
Going to this garden by public transport is a bit tricky even though it is really close to the city center of Paris. I will therefor suggest you get a taxi. If you really want to try the public transport and have loads of spare time, then go for the bus (bus 43 or 244 from métro Pont de Neuilly).
I did the train and walked 2 hours, and by the time I arrived I nearly needed an ambulance.
The garden sits in the beautiful and huge forest of Bois de Boulogne.
A ticket to see the gardens costs about 5-6 Euros and I do believe it is accessible for wheelchairs.

Why visit
First off, this garden has everything, and the fact that it sits in tarmac covered Paris is a reason in it self to visit.
If you are in Paris for some other reason, I beg you to see this garden!
It is most famous for its rose garden and it is truly magnificent. Huge roses, small roses, ramblers climbing over arches, walls and pergolas and a huge strict cut parterre with so much roses you would not believe.
There are more then 10.000 roses in this garden.
They are all labelled, so if you need a new rose, this is a place to go get inspiration.
The garden also contains a cottage garden, landscape garden filled with exotic birds, waterfalls, grottoes, a pagoda, romantic bridges and a fantastic Iris garden.
I must say that the Iris garden really made a big impression on me, and I have a big Iris border at home, inspired by this garden.
This garden has a scientific systematic feel to it, everything labelled and planted in order, but not in a boring strict rows.
So if you are a romantic cottage owner or a nerdy plantsman this garden will fit both bills easy!

The gardens history
The garden was created in 64 days, by Louis XVI brother, in a bet against Marie-Antoinette who also lived there from time to time. They used the house as something in between a summer house and a hunting lodge. A posh one. 🙂

In 1835 the brit Lord Seymour, Marquess of Hertford bought the property, and doubled the size of the gardens and build new beautiful buildings. I was really impressed by the Orangerie.
So in 1905 it was all sold to the City of Paris. The landscape designer currently employed by the city (Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier) created the flower gardens that are the once we now visit for. The rose garden, the iris garden etc. The rose garden was completed in 1906. And has since then housed an annual rose exhibit for new roses. A debutant ball 🙂

Designers:
The first version of the garden and park was designed by the Scottish landscape gardener Thomas Blaikie.
The flower gardens inclusive rose and iris gardens was designed by Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier.
Parc de Bagatelle Website >

Rose garden in Parc de Bagatelle

A world of gardening awaits

Hi there!
My name is Lin, and I love to travel. When I travel I love to visit gardens. Classic gardens, modern gardens, landscape gardens and all other types of gardens. 
Visiting gardens both bring peace of mind and jump-starts the inner creativity. It brings back my energy. 

Research
When I travel and visit gardens, I often do in depth research before I go. When was the garden created, who created it, who maintains it. What type of plants is present, is there a tearoom, can I buy some plats to bring home? Is there any talks or activities going on there today? Guided tours maybe? 

I travel the UK, the Mediterranean and Scandinavian countries.
I love photography and just bought a new camera. A Nikon D7000 and a Macro lens. So this blog will have no shortage of images of the gardens I visit. 

Adding gardens
In the next few weeks, I will add gardens that I have visited the last few years. And then in a couple of weeks, I will visit Wales, and I will tell you all about it! 😉 
Any Wales tips is most welcome!

I will write some what detailed reviews about each garden. I will link to all resources you need to find it, and I will suggest B&Bs, Hotels and restaurants if they are relevant. 

Help!
If you own or work for a garden and would like to invite me and my camera,  PLEASE do so!
If you know of a special gem of a garden that is not already covered here, please tips me!!!
I will add a contact button here in a day or two!

I love comments, so if you have tips, recommendations, relevant information about the gardens I visit, please do comment! 🙂

If you want to visit gardens …
if you are traveling and need help planning your trips around gardens …

… then this is the tool you need!   😉