Gardens of Villa Lante, Bagnaia
Gardens of Villa Lante, Bagnaia

The Gardens We Love The Most

It's no secret that the world is filled with some truly magnificent gardens, some close to home and some thousands of miles away. With such an abundance and variety of flora, there is always something new to discover along with a new or different way of doing things where horticulture is concerned. We have rounded up a selection of our favourites for you to consider for your next garden holiday.

From royal to classic, our top pick of England's country gardens

Tresco Abbey Garden

Hidden away on the island of Tresco, the second-biggest of the Scilly Isles, is the magnificent Abbey Garden. A subtropical delight, it was established back int the 1830s by Augustus Smith and today is looked after by its curator, Mike Nelhams. The gardens are adjacent to the ruins of a Benedictine Abbey (hence the name!), which were founded in AD 964, and a visit here is always memorable. Here, you'll find succulents, beautiful Mediterranean species and vibrant flowers – all of which will make it hard to believe that you're still within the United Kingdom. View our itinerary here.

Highgrove & the Cotswolds

Come and see why the country home of HRH the Prince of Wales is so beloved. With vegetable patches cultivated using wholly organic methods, a stumpery that provides a fantastic habitat for wildlife and a sundial garden, enjoy a taste of royalty. Since buying the property in 1980, His Royal Highness sought the advice of a friend, Lady Salisbury, who was an experienced organic gardener known for her work at Cranbourne and at Hatfield House. Every year, the Prince takes on a new project, such as his walled kitchen garden or the arboretum. View the tour here. 

RHS Chelsea Flower Show & Classic English Gardens

There's just something enchanting about the Chelsea Flower Show. Taking place just once per year, this annual event is filled with show-stopping designs, amazing plants and some of the gardening world's most celebrated personalities. Wander from garden to garden, admiring the creations that earn gold, silver-gilt, silver, and bronze medals. Discover the latest gardening trends, let the experts inspire your own handiwork and sip a cocktail in style as you soak up the atmosphere of this legendary show. 

What's more, our RHS Chelsea Flower Show holiday also includes visits to a selection of other classic English gardens along the way. From RHS Garden Wisley and Sissinghurst's manicured lawns, to Jekyll and Lutyens' masterpiece at Hestercombe, this trip will delight the green-fingered among us. View the tour here. 

Why not explore our favourite 'further afield' gardens?

Rome, Ninfa & Castel Gandolfo

The vibrant Italian capital of Rome needn't be all Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Vatican. Venture around 40 miles south, to the Lazio region, and you'll come to the magnificent Gardens of Ninfa. Considered to be among the world's most romantic, these gardens are home to flower-covered ancient ruins. Hydrangeas, perfumed roses and jasmines curtain the walls of medieval buildings, and around 1,300 botanical species reside here in its eight acres. The history of the gardens is just as alluring – burned in 1382 and beset by malaria, the village of Ninfa lay abandoned for hundreds of years. After the mosquito hazard was removed in 1922, a beautiful garden was created. View the tour here. 

Costa Rica

Depending on which part of this amazing country you visit, you'll be met with incredible examples of the natural world. From the Else Kientzler Botanical Gardens at the foot of the Poás Volcano to medicinal gardens in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano, prepare to be astounded by the flora on display in Costa Rica. Home to abundant hot springs, the richest orchid collection in all of South America – with over 1,400 identified species – and spice plantations, where a visit will be more of a sensory experience. Enjoy the Gardens of Costa Rica or Southern Costa Rica with Brightwater. 

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The Gardens We Love The Most was published on 15 October 2019