When I lived in Oslo in the 80’s, I’d ask Norwegian friends how they got through the long winters. Their answer was always the same, warming drinks, light plenty of candles, create a snug atmosphere & hunker down.
Go with the season
I’ve interpreted this as accepting winter for what it is, & taking the opportunity to slow down. Whilst, like most gardeners, I’m planning for Spring & Summer. I’ve stopped counting the days to Spring & decided to enjoy January.
Part of the planning is looking through photos from last year, I realised how many wonderful gardens I managed to visit last year. I’ve been lingering over the photos, inspired to make my garden the best it can be & thinking about gardens to visit this year.
Some of the favourites from last year.
Alt-y-Bela in Wales, home of the renowned garden designer Arne Maynard. It’s not open to the public as such, but if you go on one of his courses or stay as a bed & breakfast guest, you’ll be able to see the garden.
We stayed there for a couple of nights, & getting up & wandering round the garden in the early morning light was a complete joy.
Another favourite was Vann, only a few miles away from where I live in Surrey. There are more sumptuous photos on on the blog I wrote about it here.
Sissinghurst in Kent, formerly home to Vita Sackville-West & Harold Nicolson, who are responsible for this world famous, wonderful garden. Their upper-class, eccentric lifestyle only adds to the glamour of the place.
Find the blog post & visiting details here.
Then there’s the Chelsea Flower Show, a whole series of gardens that appears on the embankment of Thames for a week every year.
Arundel Castle, West Sussex
There are a few different areas of garden in this huge site, including the Collector Earls Garden, designed by Isobel & Julian Bannerman.
I visited with my son & grandsons to look round the castle & watch the little historical re-enactments in the school holidays. I sneaked into the garden for a quick look round, it wasn’t really on the agenda that day, & loved it. I’m a fan of the Bannermmans work, so a re-visit on my own, with more time to see other areas of the garden, is on the list for this year.
Information about visiting Arundel Castle Gardens here.
I’ve been spurred on to plan more garden visits for this year & write about them on the blog. So even if you’re on the other side of the world, you can come along with me for a virtual visit.
I’d love to hear about your favourite garden visits.
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all photos: Jill Anderson