14th March 2019
This month we are highlighting the great gardens of the UK and Ireland, showcasing outstanding ideas and experiences. From educational and traditional to wild or urban, Dream Escape can ensure access to exquisite gardens with fascinating owner and expert led visits and unique private access.
From curated tours of private gardens to architect designed gardens reflecting the fashions of centuries gone by, indulge the senses in a horticultural discovery. Ireland is a treasure trove for nature lovers and gardening enthusiasts and the grounds of castles and private estates provide the opportunity to see some of the rarest plant and tree species in the world.
Garden lovers will be charmed by Powerscourt House – National Geographic’s third favourite garden. The Shamrock Garden, (unsurprisingly, shaped like a shamrock!) is unlikely to be seen anywhere else. It has Yew hedges in the shape of an Irish harp and striking tulip beds shaped in the Red Hand of Ulster. It’s a fitting introduction to a garden that’s both playful and political, formal yet exotic.
Enjoy a guided tour of one of the most celebrated and original gardens in the world, Mount Stewart. The head gardener will tell you of the eccentric family, their stories depicted in amazing topiary designs, mythological sculptures. The gardens are a living monument to their exceptional creator, Edith, Lady Londonderry, reflecting her unique personality, life, history, politics and values. Discover the newly restored sunken gardens which have been transformed into a kaleidoscope of colours and plants inspired by Maud Wards painting of 1864.
Explore the great gardens of England and learn of the famous and Royal characters who curated and created them.
Visit the Great Pagoda at Kew Gardens which was opened in July by HRH Charles, Prince of Wales and take the opportunity to explore the incredible gardens at the Prince’s residence, Highgrove. From the magnificence of the Thyme walk to the magical Stumpery, learn how each garden was crafted and see a glimpse into the life of the Prince.
Nearby, attend Gardening School at one of the Country’s most luxurious properties nestled in the Oxfordshire countryside. Discover, explore and learn the secrets of the 11 world-class enchanting gardens and orchards of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. From the tranquillity of the Japanese tea garden to the Mushroom Valley project.
Receive an exclusive tour of the Duke of Marlborough’s private Italian Garden at Blenheim Palace and explore the Formal Gardens which surround the palace including The Rose Garden, The Arboretum and The Grand Cascade, designed by ‘Capability’ Brown in the 18th Century. Explore the park by buggy, visit the site of the ancient Oak forest and learn what it’s like to run the historic gardens of Blenheim Palace.
The great Castle Gardens of Kent provide the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of the capital. It was Henry VIII who brought pleasure gardens to this area. In the 1530’s the King stayed in hunting lodges in the local vicinity, hoping to bump into Anne Boleyn. Hever Castle, once home to Anne Boleyn has a beautiful garden recreated as a slice of Italy in the middle of the Weald.
Chartwell, once the home of Winston Churchill is also on the ‘must-see’ list and the Kitchen Garden is a highlight. Using Churchill’s Head Gardener’s diaries and surviving invoices of seed purchases, a productive kitchen garden has been recreated.
Learn about Vita Sackville-West, her writing and her gardening, with an after-hours private garden tour led by the Head Gardener at Sissinghurst. Visit the newly opened retreat of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, a cottage retreat in the middle of the garden and visit Harold’s book room where he carried out most of his writing. The White Garden is Vita’s most famous creation. Breathtakingly elegant, it is a romantic vision and gardening masterpiece.
Discover some of Scotland’s finest gardens and estates and experience a world of beauty and adventure where you can relax, recharge and contemplate.
Go behind the scenes at Cawdor Castle and after a unique personal guided tour by Lady Cawdor, admire the rarely seen views from the top of the castle’s medieval tower. Discover the magnificent historic walled gardens and the wild garden with the Head Gardener providing fascinating insights into the workings of the gardens. The gardens also contain a number of commissioned sculptures which all have an interesting story and meaning behind them.
Explore one of the last remaining and most outstanding areas of conserved ancient Caledonian Oak woodland in the United Kingdom with a Ranger. Learn the history of this magnificent woodland, the animals and birds who call it home and the relation to the Castle and family who have lived here for over 600 years.
Discover bridges, ravines and rivers in a stunning castle estate which also provides a home to giant Sequoia and Redwood trees as well as the tallest Firs in Scotland. Take a horse and carriage ride and a private garden tour before star gazing the clear skies with a Dark Sky ranger.
Gardening Diary Dates 2019
12-14 April: RHS Flower Show, Cardiff
29 April-5 May: National Gardening Week – Edible Britain
1 May–31 October: Raymond Blanc Gardening School, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison
18-26 May: Chelsea Fringe
21-25 May: RHS Chelsea Flower Show
30 May-3 June: Bloom in the Park, Dublin
31 May-2 June: Gardening Scotland, Edinburgh
5-9 June: RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, Derbyshire
8-9 June: Open Garden Squares, London
21-22 June: Garden Museum Literary Festival, Houghton Hall, Norfolk
21-23 June: Blenheim Palace Flower Show, Woodstock
1-7 July: RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
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