Unusual British GARDENS
Garden Days Out Across Britain
Spring equinox has come and gone and we are heading into sunnier times and with the slow lifting of lockdown. What better way to enjoy the sun than to explore some of the most unusual British gardens. Which are some of the finest garden's Britain has to offer. Britain has a long tradition with gardens and landscaping. From the vast estates of Capability Brown to the Victorian explorers who bought back hundreds of exotic flora and fauna from across the globe.
The main park in Munich is even called the Englischer Garten. It is named so because it was designed to resemble a typical estate garden. Apart from the grand estates and the magnificent classic gardens there are also many more unusual British gardens for you and your family to explore. These unique gardens of Britain are a delight and full of British craftsmanship in the most unexpected ways. From the way they are laid out to the ingenious imagination of its creators and landscape architects and head gardeners. We also love the eccentricity of many of these living, breathing unusual British gardens.
Please note that we are unsure when these attractions will be open due to the restrictions. And advise you call them before you visit.
BROUGHTON GRANGE - GARDENS & ARBORETUM
We will start with the most typical British garden. The house at Broughton Grange dates back to around 1620 and was initially a small farm attached to Broughton Castle. It has been gradually growing into an estate in its own right over time. Covering 400 acres of farmland, meadows, parkland and gardens. There really is something for everyone who is into gardens at Broughton Grange. From Rose Gardens and Bamboo gardens to multiple terraces and orchards. It also has an area named Fatty's Paddock, although we are not sure where the name came from.
THE GARDEN OF COSMIC SPECULATION - DUMFRIES
If you are looking for one of the most unusual British gardens? Then it lies in Scotland and was created by Charles Jencks who was an architectural historian, theorist and landscape architect who wrote over 30 books. The gardens look truly mind boggling and as far from the traditional English garden as you can probably get. It features landscape and sculptures based on the Big Bang, geometric fractals, twisting DNA helixes and black holes. Created with both scientists and gardeners involved to create a magnificent space. The gardens are only open 1 day a year. Normally in May but due to Covid it may be later in the year. Put the link in you diary and see if you can bag 1 of the limited to 3000 slots.
THE LOST GARDENS OF HELIGAN - CORNWALL
One of the great stories in British gardens is the story of the Lost garden of Heligan. Which were obviously not called the lost gardens to begin with. The gardens were 'lost' since the outbreak of WW1. The brambles and bracken took over the Japanese Garden, the Sundial Garden and the Italian Garden until 30 years ago it was 'discovered' again. When discovered it then became the biggest garden restoration project in Europe. And as a true unusual British garden, Heligan is home to Britain's only outside jungle.
DEWSTOW GARDENS - MONMOUTHSHIRE
Dewstow Garden were the brainchild of Henry Oakley a Director of Great Western Railway and a breeder of Shire horses. When he bought the Dewstow Estate in 1893 he had a vision that was quite unlike any other garden in Britain if not the world. Above ground the gardens are full of tropical plants, ponds, rock gardens and glasshouses but it was underground that he let his imagination run wild. With excavated caves and grottos that are truly wondrous. In the 1940s though the gardens we filled in but in 2000 the gardens were excavated and restored to recreate Squire Oakley's (as he was know locally) vision.
PORTMEIRION - NORTH WALES
If you are looking for something else apart from gardens then a whole other world awaits at Portmeirion. The brainchild of Welsh architect Clough William-Ellis to create the perfect village has turned into an Italianesque dream. Sir Gordon remembers visiting as a child and was stuck with the other worldliness of the place. It certainly doesn't feel like Britain. The gardens have probably matured since Sir Gordon was last there but the Gwyllt, as the subtropical gardens are known, has some of Britain's largest Red Woods. Discover Monkey Puzzle Trees, secret gardens and a derelict castle as you stroll around thinking you are in The Prisoner. I am not a number.
BARBICAN CONSERVATORY - LONDON
The modernist structure of the Barbican hides a beautiful hidden 'jungle' in a glass conservatory. There is an unusual feeling when strolling around the Barbican Conservatory. It almost feels as it you are walking around an armageddon scene from a movie where the plants have taken over the city. Originally opened in 1984 the Barbican Conservatory wraps around the Barbican Theatre Fly Tower. Modernism softened by ancient ferns really is a wonderful sight to behold.
THE CHURCHILL ARMS - KENSINGTON
Staying with London and as a nod to pubs being allowed to be open again. We present the The Churchill Arms in Kensington. A pub that is the hanging gardens of Bar-bylon. During the summer months the whole facade is covered in blooming flowers and in the winter it is full of Christmas trees. It really is an amazing site and quite possibly wins title for most unusual British garden plus they do a rather fine pint too. We believe they will be open in May 2021 so you can quench your thirst then.