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, 24th May 2018
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
FLORA Garden Tours, 2018 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 2018 FLORA will tour Lake District and Yorkshire gardens 1st-6th May;
Cotswold gardens 16-20th May; Wiltshire and Somerset gardens 3rd-7th June; Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampton Court Flower Show 3rd-8th July as well as Cambridge and Norfolk gardens 21st-26th 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.
Sisley Garden Tours - RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show & the Gardens of Kent, 1st – 7th July 2018
RHS Hampton Court Flower Show with the gardens of Kent in their peak flowering season
Highlights include: private visits and garden tours at Great Dixter, Sissinghurst and Long Barn; prestigious first members-only day at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show; one year membership of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS); meet the head gardeners at Godinton House and Pashley Manor; explore the architectural gem of Royal Tunbridge Wells; RHS Wisley and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Cotswold Gardens and their 20th Century designers, 17th to 23rd June 2018
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 - Garden Gems of Cornwall, Devon & the Isles of Scilly, 11th – 18th May 2018
An exciting tour to England’s gorgeous south west corner & the Isles of Scilly
Highlights include: visit to the Isles of Scilly and Tresco Abbey Gardens; superb hotels, one on the River Dart and one with 25 acre private beach; the summer home of Agatha Christie; world famous Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan; private gardens at Trematon Castle; Lutyens/Jekyll masterpiece at Hestercombe Gardens; Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden & Tate St Ives.
Sisley Garden Tours - Great Houses and Gardens of Yorkshire & the Lake District, 9th – 16th September 2018
Historic York, stately homes & gardens and the beauty of the Lake District
Highlights include: private interior tours of Castle Howard and Newby Hall; private garden tours at Littlethorpe Manor and Levens Hall; walking tour of York and a visit to York Minster; visit to the World Heritage Site of Fountain’s Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden; exclusive visit to Gresgarth Hall; private Lake Cruise on Windermere; visit to Beatrix Potter’s home; stunning scenery of two National Parks.
The Legacy of Gertrude Jekyll, departing 20th May 2018
Follow in the footsteps of Gertrude Jekyll on this tour across the south of England, visiting many of her commissions including Hestercombe
, Upton Grey
and also the rare opportunity to visit Munstead Wood
, her home for almost 40 years.
Sisley Garden Tours - RHS Chatsworth House Flower Show, Oxford & the Cotswolds, 3rd – 9th June 2018
Experience the RHS Flower Show at Chatsworth House combined with Oxford and the Cotswolds
Highlights include: members-only day at the RHS Chatsworth House Flower Show; one year’s membership to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS); afternoon tea at the Wedgwood China tea emporium; private visits with garden tours at Eastleach House, Armscote Manor, Thornbridge Hall and Cottesbrooke Hall: pre-opening visits to Biddulph Grange Garden and Haddon Hall; Oxford walking tour and Oxford Botanic Gardens; private river cruise and dinner in Oxford.