Gardening is more popular in England than anywhere else and this is reflected in the number of gardens open to visit in England. As an island surrounded by choppy seas and protected by a powerful navy, Britain's territory was physically secure from an earlier date than other European countries. English towns could spread beyond their medieval walls much earlier than in continental Europe. Instead of apartment blocks, the typical English dwelling was a small house with a small garden. The aristocracy always wanted 'a place in the country' for the summer and a town house for the winter. Also, the climate is never very cold and partly because it is never very hot. One usually has to be up and doing something.
A wide range of design styles are well represented in England, although the most famous period in English garden history is the eighteenth century, when the original English landscape gardens were made. England has some wonderful cloister gardens attached to the great cathedrals. The best are simple rectangles of grass. England also has many castles - but no ancient castle gardens. Nor are there many renaissance survivals. There are baroque gardens but not nearly so many as in France and Germany. But from the eighteenth century onwards Britain has excellent examples of most styles of garden design.
Escorted Garden Tours in England
Chelsea Flower Show, 25th May 2017
The tour includes a full day at the Chelsea Flower Show
, which is the most famous horticultural event in the world, a visit to one of the best known Arts and Crafts gardens in England ( Sissinghurst
), a tour of the RHS's flagship garden ( Wisley
) with its new glasshouse, and a visit to one of most complete historic gardens and estates in England ( Tatton Park
Sisley Garden Tours - Summer Gardens Tour with Hampton Court Flower Show, 2nd – 8th July 2017
Beautiful English countryside of the Cotswolds and Kent, wild flowers and gardens at their high summer best with roses and herbaceous borders in their prime. Experience historic Stratford-upon-Avon and visit Anne Hathaway’s cottage garden, David Austin’s world famous rose nursery, Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate and Coughton Court before heading south to enjoy the lovely Hever Castle, Sissinghurst, Windsor Castle, RHS Wisley and the wonders of a members-only day at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. Tour includes 1 year RHS membership.
Cotswold Gardens and their 20th Century designers, 18th to 24th June 2017
The Cotswolds is blessed with an abundance of celebrated gardens and we invite you join us to discover some of the best examples of 20th-century design from Hidcote
to Highgrove. Our expert local guides Vivienne McGhee and Mel Tanner will give a unique insight into the history and inspiration into each our carefully selected gardens.
Sisley Garden Tours - The Exclusive Chelsea Flower Show Tour, 20th – 27th May 2017
Join us on our tour of one of the most charming and quintessential corners of England. We visit the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show on ‘members-only’ day and explore London before proceeding to Kent. Here we visit some of England’s finest gardens and explore the architectural gems of Rye and Royal Tunbridge Wells. Tour includes 1 year RHS membership.
British Isles, Castles, Gardens, History & Birdlife Cruise - Botanica World Discoveries, departing 28th May 2016
Scotland, Ireland, Wales & England
11 days on an exclusive small ship with a Botanical Guide. History, gardens in spring bloom, castles, birdlife and stunning scenery all combine with personalised small ship cruising and the adventure of Zodiac landings, allowing you a unique opportunity to explore the coastline of the British Isles, where larger ships can’t go.
Sisley Garden Tours - Great Houses and Gardens of Yorkshire & the Lake District, 18th – 25th September 2017
This delightful, high season tour takes in some of the very finest country houses and gardens of Yorkshire and the Lake District in the north of England. We’ll explore York, one of England’s greatest historic cities and travel through the spectacular landscapes of the North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks visiting both iconic stately homes and hidden, private gardens.
Sisley Garden Tours - The Cotswolds Exclusive with Highgrove Garden, 18th – 23rd June 2017
Join us on our exclusive garden tour to the Cotswolds – an area of outstanding natural beauty with dry stone walls, open skies, rolling grasslands, beech woods and captivating villages. Staying in a luxury five-star hotel we will enjoy visits to beautiful gardens in their early summer glory including Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate Court, Bourton House, Sezincote, Upton Wold, Rodmarton Manor, Barnsley House, Througham Court, The Laskett garden and a tour of H.R.H. Prince of Wales’ private gardens at Highgrove.
The Gardens of Kent and Sussex, departing 29th May, 26th June and 14th August 2016
This is an excellent tour for visitors to London who would like to visit gardens in Kent and Sussex. The countryside is varied, well-wooded and very favoured from the points of view of garden makers and garden visitors. The tour includes visits to Lullingstone Castle
, Great Comp
, Great Dixter
and Hever Castle
FLORA Garden Tours, 2016 small group tours
Flora guided tours of gardens in England take 4 to 10 people to the best English gardens, large and small. The tours last 3-6 days but special interest tours can be run to suit your group.
In 2016 FLORA will tour Cornish and Devon gardens 31st March-4th April; Cotswold gardens 18th May-22nd May; gardens in Wiltshire and Somerset 5th-9th June; Roses in the Southern counties 22nd-26th June; Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampton Court Flower Show 5th - 10th July as well as Cambridge and Norfolk gardens 16-24th September.
Dr. Barbara Sommerville plans and escorts all garden tours in England and gives evening power-point talks on subjects relevant to touring English and British gardens.