With the 101st RHS Chelsea Flower Show in full swing, we started thinking about all the weird and wonderful gardens the UK has to offer… Here are 4 of our favourite British gardens with a twist.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall
This Victorian jungle of trees, ferns and camellias had been left to ruin until the Eden Project founder, Tim Smit, came across it in the 1990s. He was moved after spotting a motto etched in a wall: “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber” with the names of those who worked there signed under the date – August 1914. Tim and fellow enthusiasts rescued the gardens, cherishing unexpected features such as the giant Mud Maid for all to stumble upon today. The Lost Gardens of Heligan: www.heligan.com
Alnwick Garden, Northumberland
Surrounding the Harry Potter behemoth that is Alnwick Castle, the grounds are populated with quirky features such as the Poison Garden filled with the world’s deadliest plants, a serpent garden, a bamboo labyrinth, and not forgetting the biggest treehouse in Europe complete with famous a la carte restaurant. Alnwick Garden: www.alnwickgarden.com
Sheffield Park Garden, East Sussex
Created from a 1700s deer park into pleasure gardens, Sheffield Park Garden is a wonder of enormous lakes with reflections galore. Criss-cross ornate bridges and meander through woodlands, and then when you’re done, carry on walking out of the park and down the hill to the Victorian train station. Here you can hop on the Bluebell Railway, one of the best preserved heritage steam railways to be found. Sheffield Park Garden: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sheffield-park-and-garden Bluebell Railway: www.bluebell-railway.co.uk
Inverewe Garden, Scotland
Here among the wild, windswept Highlands of Scotland you’ll be surprised to discover a sub-tropical paradise, warmed by the Gulf Stream that hits these shores directly from Mexico. Among a flurry of azaleas and rhododendrons you’ll see such anomalies as towering Australian gum trees, Blue Nile lilies and Himalayan blue poppies. And all the while with the sea twinkling in the background. Inverewe Garden: www.nts.org.uk/Property/Inverewe-Garden-and-Estate Would you like to go to one of these gardens or another UK garden? Tell us in the comments boxes below!