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!

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