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South East Grow to.....

Arundel Castle Gardens

I am still wondering if my visit to Arundel Castle Gardens last Monday really happened or whether it was a surreal lockdown dream. Arriving in a rogue April snow shower for the first Narnia-like glimpse through one of the glorious stone archways, it felt like we were entering a fantastical film-set rather than a working…

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Scotland Grow to.....

Broadwoodside, Gifford, East Lothian

If you’re able to visit Broadwoodside garden at Gifford in East Lothian you’re a/ extremely lucky and b/ unlikely to forget it. Broadwoodside is a private garden. It only opens around once year for Scotland’s Garden scheme but Anna and Robert Dalrymple will host groups of discerning horticulturists and on this occasion made our small…

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Scotland Grow to.....

Dawyck Botanic Garden

The Dawyck experience starts a little before you actually reach the garden.  That’s because it lies in the pretty Scottish Borders 28 miles south of Edinburgh. Rolling hills, low stone walls and the babbling River Tweed get you fully in the mood for this great woodland garden which has a devoted following. You see, Dawyck…

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North East

Lindisfarne Castle Gardens, Northumberland

If you like your garden visiting to be a little magical, a little bit mysterious, to be something you want to go back to, to see if it was really real, go to Lindisfarne on Holy Island. Designed by the legendary Gertrude Jekyll over a century ago, it is no more than 30 x 50…

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North East Grow to.....

Alnwick Castle Gardens, Northumberland

You know that Alnwick Castle featured as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, right? (gulp, me neither) but in fact the most amazing thing about Alnwick is how absolutely wizard its gardens are. I know, I know, the heart of a keen gardener might sink a little at the prospect of a garden attached to such…

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Scotland

Branklyn Garden, Perth

Branklyn Garden is surely one of Scotland’s national treasures. Its eccentricities start before you’ve even got there. For although it’s in Perth – a wonderfully central and connected city, it’s quite a tricky little number to locate even for your top notch Sat Nav. (Basically head over the river as though you’re going to Scone…

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South East

Parham House Gardens

I defy anyone not feel happier after a visit to Parham House Gardens in Pulborough, West Sussex. The sense of well-being starts as soon as you pull off the A283, drive in through the main gates and weave your way down through the historic parkland, a mosaic of downland, bracken and veteran trees opening up…

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Scotland Grow to.....

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – it sounds impressive and given the complexity of its funding masters (and its structure – RBGE actually comprises four gardens in Scotland), the Edinburgh garden does a jolly good job of fulfilling expectations. Fact: it’s big – 70 acres. You can spend a good afternoon getting round it –…

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South East Grow to.....

King John’s Lodge – East Sussex

Every once in a while you come across a place with a timeless air about it – not flashy or cutting-edge, but with a calm, gracious look of antiquity and love about it that grabs your heart.  That’s King John’s Lodge in Etchingham. It’s plonk in the middle of East Sussex off the A21. The house is a…

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North West

Larch Cottage Nurseries – Penrith

If surprise and wonder are your shtick, take 13 minutes out of  your M6 journey north or south and get along to Larch Cottage Nurseries just south of Penrith. I know, it sounds disarmingly underwhelming, and believe me the little terraced cottage entrance compounds the deception, for you have in fact found the horticultural equivalent…