April 2019 Newsletter - Giving a voice to Britain's Gardens

The beautiful organic gardens of The Prince of Wales’s private residence, Highgrove, in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, have opened to the public for guided Spring Walks, garden tours and a variety of seasonal events with availability for booking on selected dates from April to October.

Tony Russell, Gardens to Visit

Welcome to the April issue of our Gardens to Visit E-Newsletter, which provides you with all the latest news and information from gardens right across the UK.

To find out more about each item featured below, simply click on it. Also, if you click on the garden name it will take you directly to the garden's own website.

Our Gardens to Visit E-Newsletters enable you to decide which gardens to visit and the best time to visit them.

Published monthly and distributed to thousands of groups, individuals, coach companies, tour operators, tourism personnel, garden journalists and media
representatives, this newsletter is the voice of British gardens.

If you would like to find out more about these gardens, their news and events and much else besides, visit the Gardens to Visit website

Wishing you a great spring season of garden visits

Tony Russell


From early April to early May, Arundel Castle is the place for tulip enthusiasts as featured in Gardens Illustrated Magazine and The English Garden Magazine

During this period over 60,000 tulips will be blooming in the Castle’s stunning gardens providing visitors with one of the most impressive tulip displays in the country. A wide range of varieties of tulips will be in flower at the Castle creating an explosion of colour throughout its extensive walled gardens.

Amongst the 120 named tulips on display, visitors can delight in Olympic Flame, Lilac Time, Swan Wings, Fancy Frills, Apeldoorn’s Elite, Black Parrot and Negrita, plus the beautiful peony flowered Angelique.

Planted in an array of unique horticultural designs, visitors can enjoy innovative displays throughout the Collector Earl’s Garden where 4,000 Pink Impression and Purple Prince tulips will be on show. Nearby, in the Wild Flower Garden, by the Stumpery, there will soon be a display of over 8,000 mixed tulips.

Tulip Festival is included in standard admission prices.

Highgrove April 2013

The beautiful organic gardens of The Prince of Wales’s private residence in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, have opened to the public for guided Spring Walks, garden tours and a variety of seasonal events with availability for booking on selected dates from April to October.

Experienced garden guides bring guests on seasonal walks revealing the history, inspiration and unique organic management behind these incredible gardens

Speaking about her favourite season at Highgrove Debs Goodenough, Head Gardener at Highgrove Estate says “I’m regularly asked when the best time is to come to Highgrove.  With each passing week throughout the year there is much to see; often though I say mid-to-late April as the magic of Spring comes much earlier these days, the bulbs are in full force, the topiary and hedging is crisp and sharp, the birdsong is cacophonous, the light levels are dazzling and there is a wondrous calm enjoyment in the Garden after the ravages of Winter.  I’m almost ashamed to say that maybe I shouldn’t let this secret out!”

Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden kicks off its season with family fun on Easter Saturday with our new Easter Egg Trail. Aspiring plant hunters will be able to scour two acres of The World Garden for Easter clues and then report on their discoveries to claim an eggtastic surprise, plus the chance to meet some Easter Characters!

Set within 120 acres of beautiful Kent countryside, Lullingstone Castle is one of England’s oldest family estates, dating back to the time of Domesday. An historic family mansion frequented by Henry VIII and Queen Anne. It is also home to the UK’s first ever ‘World Garden of Plants’ the vision of modern-day plant hunter Tom Hart Dyke.

£10 Adults – Children under 15 go FREE

Lullingstone Castle

Houghton Lodge Gardens is a picture of spring. With daffodils lining the banks of the River Test, contrasting scilla along the front drive and the emerging tulips - the 2019 season is launching with an explosion of colour.

The formal and informal gardens of the 18th century historic house, near Stockbridge, Hampshire will open on Saturday 30th March and visitors will be treated to the heart-warming sights of spring across the Walled Garden, Long Border and Peacock Garden.

In early April, the tulips will provide a splash of colour across beds and borders. Enjoy the copper orange colour of Tulip Ballerina, the peachy tones of Tulip Blushing Beauty and the deep red of Lasting Love. In the cutting beds 500 tulips have been planted to create a show-stopping view from the tearoom patio and new seating area. The Walled Garden will feature two new flower beds planted with old roses underplanted with beautiful perennials, as well as a restored water feature in front of the conservatory. The Hosta bed which was planted last spring, is also expected to flourish for the 2019 season, along with 42 old roses that have been planted round the garden.

Hatha Moths & Bio-Blitz 2019

Cambridge University Botanic Garden  has a wide range of garden & science based events for April from Drop-In Making to Bio-Blitz 2019. A  chance to learn and enjoy in a beautiful setting.

Highlights include Nature Weaving on 6th of April, Drop-In Easter Making on the 10th of April, Science on Sundays throughout the month and the Bio-Blitz 2019.

Science Sundays is a programme of free, informal, monthly drop-in plant science talks, bringing the latest discoveries in plant science to our visitors in a 30 minute nutshell.

At Bio-Blitz you can book onto a wildlife workshop or drop-in to discover, identify and record the wonderful animals and plants of the Garden.

Oh, and the picture is a Hatha Moth!

Hatha Moth

Nestling in the heart of Worcestershire is one of this country’s greatest secrets. Surrounded by parkland, largely unchanged for over 400 years, lays the 30 acre paradise of Spetchley Park Gardens.

Spetchley is not a garden of formal cut lawns or manicured beds but rather a wondrous display of plants, shrubs and trees woven into a garden of many rooms and vistas.

17-22 April Golden Egg Trail: Follow the bunny trail around 30 acres of wonderful historic gardens. Solve the puzzle and collect an Easter treat. Trail is included with children's admission.

28 April Specialist Plant Fair: An ideal way to start planning your planting for the spring and summer with many rare and beautiful plants from 40 specialist nurseries. Admission £6 for adults, free for under 16’s, includes admission to the Gardens.

Come and enjoy our Easter trail around the gardens, follow the clues around the garden and answer the puzzle at the end to receive an Easter Egg prize, plus a mini Easter Egg hunt around the Spider Garden for the under 5’s.

Hoveton’s Hall 15 acre Gardens are well-known and loved by both locals and visitors alike and include the walled “Spider Garden”, the “Old Kitchen Garden” a one acre former Victorian walled kitchen garden now with the addition of lawns and herbaceous borders while still providing fruit, vegetables and herbs for the house. There is also a “Clematis Walk”, an Orchard, a “Woodland Walk”, the “Magnolia Garden” as well as two Lakes, The Arboretum, the Grade II listed Glasshouse and the 18th Century Grade II listed Ice Well. These beautiful Gardens begin with a burst of early Spring bulbs, the spectacular Rhododendrons and Azaleas in May and June through to the mid-summer delights of the ‘Spider Garden

All Free with normal garden entrance fees.

Hoveton Hall

BBC TV’s Bargain Hunt are back at the Botanic Garden next weekend aiming to bring the hammer down on some more sparkling daytime TV offerings. Everyone’s favourite presenter Eric Knowles will be helming the action around the 100+ stalls which are spread across the various picturesque venues at the Carmarthenshire attraction.

To tempt and tantalise the red team and the blue team, fine displays of silver, jewellery, textiles, furniture can be found in all corners of the Garden, from the awesome Lord Foster-designed Great Glasshouse, to the Regency-era servants’ quarters - Principality House - just next door.

There will, of course, be an emphasis on Welsh items, especially pottery - from Swansea, Glamorgan, Llanelli and the increasingly popular Ewenny.  A visit to Glynda Speed’s stall to sample her samplers will be worth the entrance free alone. The entrance fee is just £5, by the way – and it’s Doggy Weekend, too. So, bring your pooch for a mooch.

The Antiques Fair is on Saturday and Sunday April 6-7 and doors open at 10am.

The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways is unique in Walesfor the number of superb and well-known gardens, which are regularly open to the public, can be reached by using the Railway.
The Italianate village of Portmeirion is only a twenty-minute pleasant stroll from Minffordd Station along Portmeirion's leafy driveway, shaded by centuries-old oaks and chestnuts and with occasional glimpses out to the Dwyryd estuary and across the bay to Harlech Castle.

The delightful Arts and Crafts garden at Plas Brondanw. Situated on the outskirts of the village of Garreg, Llanfrothen,the gardens are a flat 30-minute walk from Pont Croesor station, which is also the location for the Glaslyn Wildlife Visitor Centre, the perfect place to view the magnificent ospreys which nest in this valley from March.

The Victorian mansion Plas Tan y Bwlch once the home of slate quarry owners the Oakeley family, is surrounded by another spectacular garden that is well worth visiting. Plas Tan y Bwlch is a 30-minute downhill walk from Tan y Bwlch station and passes through ancient oak woodlands and past beautiful lakes en route.

Gardens to Visit 2019