***Although gardens are closed at the moment, it’s still possible to enjoy springtime via the safety of your own home. Here are several virtual tours that you can enjoy – and Chelsea Flower Show is also planning to open its doors – I’ll keep you updated.
Arundel Castle in West Sussex
Enjoy the magnificent Tulip Festival at Arundel Castle. Home to the Dukes of Norfolk for hundreds of years, the Collector Earl’s Garden is looking magnificent with its maze of coloured tulips
Hever Castle in Kent
Wander around the gardens of Hever Castle, once the home of Anne Boleyn. William Waldorf Astor bought the estate in 1903 and restored the moated Castle and laid out the gardens. These now include the Golden Stairs and Quarry, Anne Boleyn’s Walk, Two Sisters Lawn, dahlia and herbaceous borders, the Rose Garden, the Blue Garden, the Spring Garden and the Italian Garden: https://www.hevercastle.co.uk/news/delightful-virtual-garden-tours/.
Hidcote Manor in Gloucestershire
Take a tour around the stunning garden at Hidcote which was created by Lawrence Johnston at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Art and Craft’s garden is one of the National Trust’s flagship gardens and is made up of a series of rooms including Mrs Winthrop’s Garden, the Old Garden, Pillar Garden, Lower Stream Garden, White Garden and the Red Border: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hidcote/features/hidcote-virtual-tours
Sissinghurst Castle in Kent
In 1930, Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West bought Sissinghurst and began restoring the buildings and garden; the Tower was converted into a writing-room for Vita. The garden is divided into ten separate ‘rooms’ and includes the Tower Lawn, Yew Walk, Lion Pond, White Garden, Orchard, Delos, Rose Garden, Cottage Garden, Moat Walk, nuttery and Herb Garden. It is now cared for by the National Trust: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden/features/sissinghurst-castle-virtual-tours
Kew Gardens in London
Founded by Princess Augusta in 1759, Kew Gardens is one of the leading botanic gardens in the world fulfilling its mission statement ‘to inspire and deliver science-based plant conservation worldwide, enhancing the quality of life’. There is much to see with highlights including the Temperate House, Arboretum, Great Pagoda, Great Broad Walk, Rock Garden, Grass Garden, Bamboo Garden, Davies Alpine House and the Woodland Garden. Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage site: https://www.kew.org/about-us/virtual-kew-wakehurst
Chiswick House and Gardens
Sir Edward Seymore sold Chiswick House to the 1st Earl of Burlington in 1682. Burlington commissioned Colen Campbell to build a new villa which by 1733 was linked to the old house by a gallery. In 1788, the 5th Duke demolished the seventeenth century house, replacing it with two wings on either side of the villa; these were removed in 1956. Burlington began the layout of the gardens in 1717 while further changes were made in the late nineteenth century. The gardens include a series of compartments which are decorated with garden buildings, urns and statues, with avenues, Ionic Temple, amphitheatre, cascade as well as the Italian Garden, Wilderness, Napoleon’s Walk and Classical Bridge. It is now maintained by the Chiswick House and Gardens Trust. It is one of the gardens I planned to visit this Spring….There are several different links from Chiswick’s website including a podcast – I’ll leave it to you to choose which route you take! http://chiswickhouseandgardens.org.uk/house-gardens/the-gardens/
Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire
Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild bought the estate from the Duke of Marlborough in 1874. De Rothschild built the house in the style of a French chateau between 1874 and 1889 and created the formal and informal gardens with advice from the Parisian landscape architect Elie Laine. It is now owned by the National Trust. https://waddesdon.org.uk/explore-waddesdon-online/explore-waddesdons-gardens-online/