The Most Extraordinary Examples of English Gardening

The British public enjoys many pastimes, including cold beer, fish and chips, trips to the seaside and admiring stunning gardens. Luckily, when it comes to English gardens, we’re spoilt for choice. 

There are many examples of stunning outdoor areas that embody style, tradition, exotic plants and simplistic landscaping techniques. 

So, in this post, the Floral & Hardy team will share our absolute favourite examples of Great British gardens. 

Let’s dive straight in!

Traditional Gardens 

flowers in the gardenNothing beats marvelling at a stately home or quaint cottage, so it makes sense that the traditional garden is still one of our favourites. These examples of country gardens might offer you some inspiration for your own. 

Great Dixter

Christoper Lloyd was a famous gardening author and lecturer, but he’s also the creator of a quintessentially British garden. The late author focused on a combination of wildflowers, herbaceous borders and threw in some exotic plants for good measure. 

The garden is extraordinary, and while Christopher Lloyd might have passed away, his garden continues to shine.

Highgrove Royal Garden  

Every royal garden must have something special, so it makes sense that Highgrove embodies top rate landscaping with a traditional British theme. The Prince of Wales himself focused on developing stunning gardens and split the land up into sections, so each has a unique theme. 

The sundial garden is simply stunning, and there’s a wildflower meadow that embodies everything we associate with this country. 

Bowood House 

The Lansdowne family have been the proud owners of Bowood House for 260 years, and during that time, they’ve worked extensively on the gardens. In the 1760s, a landscape designer named Lancelot Brown designed a stunning outdoor space, including a lake and hermit’s cave. 

While a lot of time has passed, the family has maintained the garden theme, and it still shines today. 

Hampton Court Gardens 

Best known as the favoured palace of King Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace is a stunning example of Tudor architecture. But many people forget that it also has an incredible garden, and there are over 60 acres of well-manicured lawns to explore. 

The grapevines are incredible, and you’ll see an assortment of flowers if you decide to take a tour. Perhaps the best part of Hampton Court is its puzzle maze, the oldest in the world! 

Unique British Gardens 

british traditional gardenMany people associate the British with traditionalism, but we have some excellent examples of unique gardens. If you’re a fan of modern architecture, water features and combining art with landscaping, then you’re in for a treat with these examples. 

Chelsea Psychic Garden

Next to the Thames lies a magical garden that few people know exists. Built in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, the garden has a mystical theme, which will bring out the hippie in anyone. 

The garden was created for apprentices to train in apothecary art, but you can still visit it today and be transported back to another world. 

Sculpture Garden at Farleys House 

Artists Lee Miller and Ronald Penrose own the house that these lovely gardens surround, and it’s full of exciting sculptures. Penrose himself designed the garden to look like a house with rooms, and it was initially used as a venue to play croquet. 

Now, you can see sculptures from a range of contemporary artists, and the gardens regularly host new exhibits. 

Levens Hall Topiary Gardens 

If you want to see the most incredible topiary garden in the world, head to Cumbria! Levels Hall has an impressive collection of topiary designs, but it’s something you have to see in person to truly appreciate. 

You might be inspired to start your own collection at home, and our landscape gardening plans could help you achieve this contemporary yet traditional look. 

Iford Manor 

Iford Manor combines traditional British gardening with Italian style to create a stunning example of landscape design. The gardens have a mixture of plants and Italian architecture, and it’s a real treat if you love attractive outdoor design. 

Better still, you can also enjoy some homemade cider when you visit. 

Botanical Gardens 

botanical garden
Most people have heard of – or visited – Kew Gardens, so we’ve decided to leave it off this list and focus on some other examples of Botanics. 

Cambridge University Gardens 

Cambridge University houses an impressive 40-acre garden, which has a collection of exotic plants. Open most of the year, except for late December to early January you can visit the gardens and see the latest plants. 

Bristol Botanic Garden 

Bristol University garden is the newest in England, and while it’s small, there’s plenty to see. The garden is set up into four sections; evolutionary, Mediterranean, rare natives and local flora, so you can see a range of plants. 

Durham University Botanic Garden 

Durham University has a botanical garden that attracts around 80,000 people a year. Its 24 acres of plant life was set up with one aim; to explore biodiversity and conservation. With a unique selection of world plants, you’ll love visiting this garden. 

Birmingham Botanic Gardens 

The botanic gardens in Birmingham are some of the oldest in England. Created in 1829 by J.C. Loudon, the gardens feature a vast collection of bonsai plants and four glasshouses which house a selection of exotic plants. 

The Mediterranean house is particularly impressive, and you can sense the history as soon as you enter the gardens. 

Edinburgh Botanic Gardens

OK, so Edinburgh isn’t in England, but the Scottish city’s 17th-century psychic garden is too good to leave off of our list. With 70 acres of lush plant life on display, it’s definitely worth a trip if you’re ever in the area. 

The rock garden and Chinese garden are the two highlights, but there’s plenty to see. If you enjoy sampling beautiful plants, then you won’t want to miss the Edinburgh botanic gardens. 

Don’t forget to check out the Floral & Hardy blog for tips, tricks and gardening advice. We aim to help people make the most of their outdoor space, regardless of location and budget. You can check out our post on the best flower garden designs here.

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