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

Garden of the Month - Green Island Gardens

The site is a 20 acre triangular “land island” originally woodland now laid out with terrace area, generous island borders, water gardens, a seaside garden, Japanese garden, gravel gardens and extensive woodland gardens all sensitively planted displaying many unusual plants, often of borderline hardiness thriving in the unique microclimate.

Tony Russell, Gardens to Visit

Welcome to the brand new Gardens to Visit E-newsletter, providing you with all the latest news on British gardens.

Here you will find details on the very best gardens to visit in 2019, as well as information on special garden events, activities, concerts, open days, guided walks, tours, new facilities, new services and lots more.

You will also be able to read all the very latest garden news, as well as find out what's currently in flower and looking good. In-fact this newsletter provides you with everything you need to help you decide which gardens to visit and the best time to visit them.

Published twice monthly from now on and distributed to thousands of groups, individuals, coach companies, tour operators, journalists and media representatives, this newsletter really is the voice of British gardens.

True Colours at The National Botanic Garden of Wales

It’s nearly time. Staff and volunteers at the National Botanic Garden of Wales get a definite spring in their step when the Great Glasshouse plant collection starts to bloom. Around mid-April, the climate region plants of South Africa, Chile, California, Australia, the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean Basin in Lord Foster’s giant dome take the spotlight at the Carmarthenshire attraction. Just as the outside is stirring from its winter slumbers, the largest single-span glasshouse on the planet is going for broke.

Bottlebrush and banksia from Down Under, amazing ‘firework’ echiums from The Canaries, the Rainbow Nation’s finest: the King Protea and the amazing, llama-eating puya from Chile: just some of the stars in this remarkable show. Of blazing colours, stunning scents and awesome architectural beauty. And it lasts about a month.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales is open 363 days a year, from 10am to 6pm. Groups of 10 or more are £7.50 per head, with Great Glasshouse tours an optional extra.

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Celebrate the colour of Colombia at Kew

Escape the dreary winter with Kew's annual festival of orchids. This year, we are celebrating Colombia, the world's most biodiverse country, through a spectacular ensemble of orchid-laden displays along a curated route.

Our flagship display is a carnival of animals, depicting a toucan in flight, a hanging sloth and a swimming turtle.

We will bring to life the breath-taking rainbow river Caño Cristales and Colombia's incredible forests - complete with life-sized jaguar!

A surprise around every corner, you'll spot hundreds of colourful butterflies suspended from the glass ceiling and a floating golden-yellow display to honour the legend of El Dorado.

Colombia has 4,270 species of orchids alone. Together with its sprawling landscape of tropical beaches to snow-capped mountains, Colombia is the perfect inspiration for our vibrant festival.

Fine Dining & Garden Tour for Groups - Borde Hill

Borde Hill is excited to announce a new Fine Dining & Garden Tour package for Groups. Start your day with refreshments on arrival served inside the delightful marquee, followed by a guided tour of the 17-acre formal Garden. After working up an appetite, indulge with a 2 course lunch, glass of wine, coffee and petit fours at the award-winning Jeremy's Restaurant, winner of the Food and Drink Destination of the year, Sussex Business Awards 2018.

Located within the grounds of Borde Hill and featured in the Good Food Guide for over 20 years, Jeremy's offers a relaxed fine dining experience, with Head Chef Jimmy Gray, incorporating flavours and techniques of the East alongside the modern British menu. The light-filled restaurant seats 52, with the terrace being an ideal place to dine during the summer months, whilst looking over the beautiful Victorian walled garden where chefs pick edible flowers, herbs and vegetables. Borde Hill is probably one of the few gardens in the South East England to have such a Fine Restaurant on it’s door step.

Following lunch, there will be time to return back to the 17-acre formal Garden to explore the intimate 'outdoor' rooms at leisure, pausing to enjoy stunning views across to the Ouse Valley Viaduct.

Borde Hill
A Private Tour

Gain an intimate insight into the history and beauty of the award winning gardens at Bowood. You will be able to enjoy the beautiful formal borders, the picking garden, glass houses and the kitchen garden that provides fresh fruit and vegetables for Bowood Hotel and House Restaurant.

Stables Restaurant
£28.50 per person – Must be pre-booked in advance.

Available on selected dates view for dates and more information or call: 01249 810961 or email:

Also available are our Morning Tours of the Private Walled Garden, followed by a Two Course lunch in the Stables Restaurant on selected dates at £35.00 per person.

Bluebells & Jaguars

Hole Park Gardens are well known for having a spectacular display of Bluebells in April and early May. The gardens will be celebrating one of the UK’s favourite native flowers with a ‘Bluebell Festival’ between 15th April to 10th May. Visitors can enjoy the amazing display of Bluebells while taking the circular woodland walk which also passes a solar powered renovated ice house. Hole Park’s website will have a Bluebell Barometer which will be updated regularly in April.

Jagfest at Hole Park Gardens – 16th June

Organised by the Kent South Region of the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club and in association with, the National JEC, we welcome all National & International JEC members and owners of any Jaguar or Daimler car, to join us for the main Jagfest Show on Sunday 16th June at Hole Park.

For more information please visit

Hole Park

Chiswick House Camellia Festival

The Camellia Show at Chiswick House and Gardens celebrates beautiful Camellia blooms within the elegant 19th century conservatory built for the 6th Duke of Devonshire. Visit the collection of 33 different varieties, many of which are descended from the original planting in 1828. Among them is the unique Middlemist’s red, originally brought from China in 1804 by Londoner John Middlemist, a nurseryman from Shepherds Bush.

‘It really deserves a visit. Very beautiful conservatory and gardens. I loved the visit today.’ – Time Out London Reader

A pop up shop selling Heritage Camellias from the estate will be open on the weekend the 23rd / 24th March 10:00 until 16.00. This is just in time for Mother’s Day for those looking for last minute gift ideas!

There is the annual Camellia Competition supported by the International Camellia Society on the Saturday 23nd March. Encouraging people to bring their Camellia Blooms and win prizes. Prizes will be awarded at 12:00 on the 23rd March. This years show will run daily from the 1st March until 31st March 2019 between 10am – 3pm

Steeped in spa town history, Harrogate's very own RHS Garden Harlow Carr is set to celebrate seventy years of development by hosting a special summer 'CommuniTea' & cake party during its three-day annual flower show from 21 to 23 June 2019. Groups visiting during The Flower Show can benefit from discounted entry, with entrance to the Flower Show being included. They can also benefit from free coach parking, free entry for the coach driver and tour leader.

Featuring inspiring 'CommuniTea' pots, planted and decorated by community groups from throughout Yorkshire, and a magnificent giant floral cake created by celebrity florist Jonathan Moseley, the 70th Birthday showcase will make a lively addition to the popular flower show, which already features more than 40 specialist nurseries and garden trade stands, along with a programme of talks and demonstrations.

Group prices (10+) for Harlow Park Garden cost £9.50 per person with private garden guided tours £3 per person and cream tea vouchers for Bettys Café Tea Rooms from £7.50 per person. Affiliated Societies (up to 55 people per group) can also visit for free.

RHS Letters

Explore a garden with a Royal History

Windsor Great Park has launched its new group visitors guide for The Savill Garden, detailing a wide selection of tours and experiences for group visits in 2019.

The guide includes details on the 'Royal Heritage Tour and The Savill Garden', which provides the opportunity to be immersed in 1000 years of Royal History with a personally guided coach tour of Windsor Great Park. Now in its second year and exclusively for groups, visitors can enjoy the unique national and natural heritage of Windsor Great Park when visiting The Savill Garden. This limited availability tour allows visitors to understand how Windsor Great Park works in the modern day, as well as learning about its long history. The tour, which lasts approximately one hour, will finish with the rare opportunity to disembark from the coach at the top of the Long Walk, providing unique vistas of London and the iconic view from The Copper Horse statue of George III to Windsor Castle beyond.

The Savill Garden sits in the heart of Windsor Great Park which makes it perfect for rambling groups.

Leonardslee Reopens after 8 years

Described as ‘the finest woodland gardens in England’, Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens opens to the public in March 2019. This follows 18 months’ extensive work on the Grade 1 Listed gardens and on site facilities - in one of the biggest UK garden restoration projects for nearly 30 years.

Closed to the public for eight years, the 240 acre estate previously attracted 50,000 visitors annually to see the outstanding displays of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, magnolias and bluebells, collected from all over the world from the early 1800s.

Set in a steep-sided valley, the estate offers visitors a unique combination of lakes, woodlands and parkland walks to enjoy, as well as a Pulham rock garden built in 1890, and a rare colony of wallabies and also deer. There is a renowned dolls’ house museum, which features the local village and its community in the Edwardian era, to 1/12 scale.

The Grade II listed 19th-century Italianate style mansion is restored and updated and already open to visitors for a classic afternoon tea as well as bookings at Restaurant Interlude, which offers tasting menus with produce that is foraged, raised and produced on the estate and selected local farms.

Opening Date confirmed as April 6th 2019.

Gardens to Visit 2019