06 March 2013

England, The Garden Island

When I first moved to England
I was disappointed front gardens lacked the beauty
I'd expected from the Garden Island

But now I know care and attention is put into back gardens,
often a hidden oasis and private gem behind home facades

So a plain looking home unsuspectingly could have
the most magnificent garden behind its fence

Why isn't more attention put toward the front garden in England?
Perhaps it is due to the English sense of privacy while gardening,
no need to spend effort in an area where they won't be hanging-out,
or it is too showy to have an impressive garden in the front

Nonetheless, this is THE Garden Island

First of all, let's talk English garden centers

They look very similar to American ones
with cement floors, nothing-fancy display stands, and simple signage

But the local garden center offers much, much more

It may include a
tea room (almost always)
book shop
gift shop
farm shop
outerwear clothing shop
pet supplies
fake flowers
outdoor vintage antiques
picnic benches to eat your lunch on
a playset for children to use

On a whole other level,
offers not just lovely outdoor plants
and vintage home decor 
but even a cafe which was awarded a Michelin Star in 2011
and is known for celebrity spotting
(not too far from London, if you come for a visit)

But you don't need to own a garden
to enjoy one

You can see some of England's most gorgeous gardens here:

If you seek gardens belonging to royalty,
you can see Prince Charles's Highgrove Garden
and Buckingham Palace Gardens

Henry VIII's Hampton Court

RHS 'Britain In Bloom' is the country's most popular horticultural campaign
with over 1,100 cities, towns, and villages 
competing against each other 
as to which has the most beautiful public spaces

Such a great community builder,
free seeds and support are provided by
the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)
to registered groups

Affordable allotment plots (community gardens)
 are seen in almost every village,
used mostly for growing edible crops

Believe it or not,
Indiana Jones-type plant hunters 
continue to scour the planet for undiscovered flora to bring to the garden,
such as Tom Hart-Dyke who was kidnapped in Colombia
while hunting for rare orchids in 2000

'Garden love' spreads
with informal plant and seed swaps between gardeners

Countless garden courses are offered around the country,
including by Sarah Raven who has a Martha Stewart like status here

On the most formal level,
RHS hosts the annual Chelsea Flower Show,
which is the catwalk for flowers and garden design
attracting competitors and visitors worldwide

What are some of the trends and tips from English gardeners?
Don't miss my next post :)

- all photos by me -
Related posts:

(an unsponsored post)


Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I must confess my front garden isn't pretty... Hopefully it will change over the years. I can't wait for the next post and your great tips!

Noelle the dreamer said...

Lovely post again Laura and right on!
By the by, Happy Mothering say (we both get to celebrate twice I would imagine?!)

Dena Barrie said...

Gorgeous pictures! Just what I needed on this gray German day! Thanks for bringing a bit of color to my day!

From A Worcestershire Hill said...

Again, lovely photographs and a very enjoyable and informative blog. I am looking forward to summer and the gardens, including my allotment, not the snow we have at this moment of writing. I am not sure if you have mentioned in previous blogs The National Gardens Scheme, www.ngs.org.uk, which features gardens throught the country which are open for charity. There are some amazing gardens featured.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

You are right! NGS is listed here :) Thanks for mentioning, though :)

Gina said...

I can't wait for spring! I am looking forward to going to the garden centers here in the UK and seeing all the beautiful flowers.
Thank you for all the links - I hope to visit some of the places you wrote about. Your photos are beautiful and inspiring.

Jeanie said...

These are just gorgeous photos. I can't imagine how much fun it would be to discover these spots. And those are my kind of garden centers! The links look great and now I'm off to do a little armchair gardening myself!

Anna said...

Hi Laura,
This is the first time a visit your blog, but surely not the last time. I just love it!
I'm from Sweden and I will be going on holiday to the north of England in the end of April. I have done some planning and searching. I may say the web sites in Britain is good. But to have more input, I thought there must be blogs in the UK just as their are in Sweden and I find yours first.
As I also love gardens it fited in very well.
Look forward to reading more on your blog!

Wendy said...

I love spring and I'm loving your post on Englands gardens, wonderful and thank you.