The UK Gardens You Must See in 2020
Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your next planting season or you’re just in need of a visit to nature’s great outdoors, the UK is teeming with stunning gardens to discover and explore.
We’ve split them out according to season, so whenever the feeling takes you, you can experience a beautiful outdoor space.
Mottisfont Winter Garden, Hampshire
With a specially planted winter garden, Mottisfont boasts vibrant colours and intriguing scents. A one-acre garden planted with their gardeners’ favourite winter plants, you can enjoy dogwood, ornamental bramble, berries and winter-flowering perennials, as well as the burgundy and russet tints of ornamental willow and the scents of honeysuckle, witch hazel and viburnum.
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Cornwall
The winter temperatures and shelter from the wind means that even semi-hardy plants thrive at Tremenheere in the colder months. The dramatic landscape, textural plants and artwork make a visit at any time of the year an inspirational one.
www.tremenheere.co.uk (opens mid February)
Ecclesgreig Castle, Angus
This castle, famous for its role as inspiration to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, boasts the snowdrop walk. With over 150 different varieties of snowdrop, hailing the oncoming spring, you’ll walk through balustraded gardens with classical statues and topiary.
scotlandsgardens.org/ecclesgreig-castle (open day 1st of March – it’s a private property and is only open on certain days throughout the year!)
Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent
Sissinghurst Castle Garden is one of the UK’s most famous gardens. Created by Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson in the 1930’s, who transformed the practically barren garden into an outdoor space in one of the first examples of “garden room” design. It’s a must-see garden, from the Lime Walk and the pretty orchard, to the crocuses, daffodils and bluebells in the woodland and fields.
Attingham Park, Shrewsbury
In Spring, the parkland at Attingham Park begins to bloom. From the bluebell woodland to the walled garden to the tulip displays that burst into life and bring vibrant colours, you can also see the historic bee house, deer, otters and dragonflies and all the usual pond life.
Abbotsford House Gardens, Scottish Borders
The home of Sir Walter Scott, the Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian, who was known for his imagination. Designed by the man himself, it’s an example of a Regency garden layout, and would have showcased the latest plants from around the world.
Scampston Hall, North Yorkshire
This regency country house boasts a contemporary walled garden designed by Piet Oudolf, a Dutch landscape designer. Set within the 18th century walls of the original kitchen garden, it now has a distinctly modern feel.
A sub-tropical garden in a Cornish valley, next to the sea. With 100-year-old rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias, and giant gunnera, it’s bursting with exotic blooms. They also have adventure play areas, children trails and special events all throughout the year.
Great Dixter, Kent
Great Dixter is a house and garden with lots of interesting history. The garden in particular is fascinating to explore, as it sits all the way around the house. The designer of the current garden didn’t believe in segregating plants based on habits, so you’ll see all sorts of plants, and all sorts of colours, together. It’s a riot of a garden that shouldn’t be missed.
The garden at Chatsworth is nearly 500 years old! It’s changed over the years, but there are still many early features that are just as beautiful today as they were when they were installed. From modern waterworks and sculpture walk to a Victorian rock garden and maze, it’s a must visit for 2020.
Kingston Lacey, Dorset
Autumn at Kingston Lacey is breathtaking. The kitchen garden has fruits and vegetables now ready for harvest, the Japanese garden is red, orange and gold, and there are unusual fungi growing in the fernery. A stunning place to visit in autumn!
Marbury Country Park, Cheshire
Once the gardens of a grand estate, Marbury country park boasts lime avenues that are picturesque in the autumn. With a community orchard, an outdoor pool and an arboretum, it’s a rich and beautiful park that everyone can enjoy.
Killerton House, Exeter
From a giant redwood to a Chinese Scarlet Rowan, and a Cotoneaster lacteus with its red berries and furry leaves, Killerton House has lots to boast of in autumn on its 6400-acre grounds. You can even make cider there!
Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
In 2020, the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh are celebrating 350 years! So whenever you visit, there’s lots to explore. In autumn, however, the vivid reds, oranges and yellows are a real showstopper.
Anywhere that you love that we’ve missed? Let us know on Twitter @Namgrass and on Facebook @NamgrassUK!