Top Ten Garden Picks for 2018

Here are the Top Ten Garden Picks for 2018 selected by our friends at Sisley Garden Tours. Chosen from a profusion of beautiful, thought-provoking and extraordinary gardens that they have the pleasure of sharing with their clients. Experience these, and many more on one of their 2018 garden tours.

1. Best for Topiary – Levens Hall, Cumbria (Pictured above)

The oldest surviving garden in England, Levens Hall has had just ten head gardeners since it was laid out in 1694. The topiary, at the time was object of admiration and amazement, and continues to be so today. Head Gardener Chris Crowder, one of the UK’s leading topiary experts, spends five months a year with his team, clipping and shaping the wonderful designs which are is under-planted with over 30,000 flowers. Experience Levens Hall with Sisley Garden Tours. Read more…

2. World’s Largest Flower Show – RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, London

Hampton Court is the world’s largest annual flower show boasting 34 acres of eclectic show gardens and displays. The show offers a breath-taking selection of gardens – designed and created by word-class designers – sculptures, nurseries and trade stands featuring the most unusual and colourful blooms and products, all set against the stunning backdrop of historic Hampton Court Palace. Visit the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show with Sisley Garden Tours. Read more…

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

3. Best for ‘New Perennial Planting’ – Scampston Walled Garden, Yorkshire

The walled garden at Scampston Hall had been derelict for nearly fifty years when the owners enlisted the help of leading garden designer, Piet Oudolf – leading figure in the ‘new perennial movement’. Although Oudolf’s planting ideas are now much imitated, Scampston Walled Garden gives the opportunity to see an outstanding example of the way in which he combines his skills as a designer with his authority and knowledge as a plantsman. Visit Scampston Walled Garden with Sisley Garden Tours. Read more…

Scampston Walled Garden Yorkshire

4. Superlative Roses – Carolside, Scottish Borders

Home to the national collection of pre-1900 Gallica roses, the oval walled garden at Carolside captures the romance, colour and heady scents of these most ancient and special roses. The garden surrounds the 18th century mansion set in an exquisite position on a bend in the River Leader in the beautiful Scottish Borders. As well as the sublime roses, this romantic garden is filled with delicate herbaceous borders. Experience Carolside with Sisley Garden Tours. Read more….

Carolside Scotland

5. Best For Quiet Contemplation – Parcevall Hall, Yorkshire

In the heart of Yorkshire Dales you’ll find a sheltered valley garden that surrounds an ecclesiastical retreat. It was the creation of Sir William Milner in the 1920’s – an architect, plantsman and designer. He became a founder member of Harlow Carr, the northern home of the Royal Horticultural Society. Heavily influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement, Parcevall Hall uses the naturally occurring limestone pavement in its rockery garden, one of the best in Europe. Visit Parcevall Hall with Sisley Garden Tours.  Read more…

Parcevall Hall Yorkshire

Parcevall Hall Yorkshire

6. Most Remote Garden – Tresco Abbey Gardens, Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly, nestling just 35 miles off the coast of Cornwall, are like nowhere else in England. Outstandingly beautiful, uncrowded and unspoilt, they seem like a world apart from everyday life. The island of Tresco is the home of a most extraordinary English Garden, the Tresco Abbey Gardens. This tropical garden is home to a dazzling array of species from 80 countries, ranging from Brazil to New Zealand and Burma to South Africa. Experience Tresco Abbey Gardens and the Isles of Scilly with Sisley Garden Tours.  Read more….

Isles of Scilly

Isles of Scilly

7. Best for Royal Connections – Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland

Home to the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth and beloved childhood home of the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Glamis Castle, and its fairy tale turrets has been witness to a thousand years of history. The beautiful Italian garden and pinetum are complimented by the redeveloped walled garden – originally dedicated to food production – it is now home to new fruit and flower beds, a spectacular fountain, grass maze and Monet-style ponds, bridge and fountains. Explore Glamis Castle with Sisley Garden Tours. Read more…

Glamis Castle Scotland

Glamis Castle Scotland

8. Best for Literary Connections – Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, Kent

“Profusion, even extravagance and exuberance within the confines of the utmost linear severity” are Vita Sackville-West’s own words to describe what has become one of the most internationally recognised gardens of the last century. In 1930, Harold Nicolson (diplomat and author) and his wife (poet, novelist, garden columnist) bravely bought the badly deteriorated Sissinghurst Castle. He was the meticulous designer and she, the plantsman. The result is a most beautiful garden of strict formal design and joyously abundant planting. Experience Sissinghurst without the crowds with Sisley Garden Tours. Read more…

Sissinghurst Castle, Kent

Sissinghurst Castle, Kent

9. Best for US Connections – Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire

Major Lawrence Johnston, the ‘quiet American’ created the most English of English gardens in the Cotswolds from 1907 until his death in 1948. When the garden passed to the National Trust, it was the first property to be taken by the Trust on the strength of the garden alone. Johnson, who left behind an army career to pursue his love of plants and garden design, created a series of ‘garden rooms’. Hidcote has become one of England’s most influential 20th-century gardens. Explore the garden rooms at Hidcote with Sisley Garden Tours. Read more…

Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire

Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire

10. Best Victorian Pleasure Grounds – Biddulph Grange, Cheshire

Biddulph Grange is Britain’s best surviving Victorian garden and is both theatrical and revolutionary. The gardens were developed in the mid-19th century by James Bateman, a Victorian industrialist. From 1841, Bateman developed the steeply sloping gardens to showcase the exotic wonders of overseas lands that few would get to see. Visitors are taken on a miniature tour of the world including China, Egypt, a Scottish Glen and early stumpery. Explore Biddulph with Sisley Garden Tours.  Read more….

Biddulph Grange Garden, Cheshire


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