With the gardening season underway, get a bit of inspiration for your own back yard by visiting a bounty of public gardens open in the region.
Gardeners' World Magazine has provided this mini guide of the best ones to visit in the region and is offering two for one entry on 300 gardens across the UK in its latest issue.
Lion Lane, Upper Arley, Nr Bewdley, Worcestershire DY12 1SQ
This collection of rare and ancient trees dates back to before 1800, making it one of Britain’s oldest arboreta. It combines walks with panoramic views and mature specimen trees, massed plantings of rhododendrons and magnolias, a fine collection of acers, a walled Italian garden with fountains, as well as trails for children and a challenging hornbeam maze.
Open Mar 13 -Nov 3, Wed-Sun, 11am-5pm. Adults/OAPs £6, children (3-16)
Details: 01299 861 368. www.arley-arboretum.org.uk
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses
Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 3TR
Just a mile from the city centre, this green oasis is home to around 7,000 plants. There are four impressive glasshouses to explore (Mediterranean, subtropical, tropical and arid), plus rose and cottage gardens, a woodland walk, bonsai collection, rock pool, alpines and much more.
Open all year, daily: Apr 1-Sep 30, 10am-7pm; Oct 1-31, 10am-5pm; Nov 1 - March 31, 10am-4pm. Adults £7, OAPs/children (5-15) £4.75.
Details: 0121 454 1860. www birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk
Brobury House Gardens
Brobury, Herefordshire HR3 6BS
Soak up the tranquillity of these delightfully varied terraced gardens on the River Wye. They include water gardens, woodland leading to a large water meadow, and idyllic views.
Open all year, daily, 10am-5pm. Adults/OAPs £4, children (2-12) £1. Card not valid Jun 30 & Sep 25. Garden may close for events – see website.
Details: 01981 500 229. www.broburyhouse.co.uk
Letchmoor Lane, Stapleton, Nr Presteigne, Herefordshire, LD8 2LP
These intimate garden rooms are furnished with follies and fragrant flowers, towers and topiary, pools and a potager. You can also walk among the five acres of specimen trees beside the River Lugg, on the border with Wales.
Open Apr 20-Aug 5 & Oct 12-21 Sat-Mon, 2-5pm. Adults/OAPs £6, under-16s £2. Single discount with card: 50%.
Details: 01544 260 001. www.bryansground.co.uk
The Dorothy Clive Garden
Willoughbridge, Nr Market Drayton, Shropshire TF9 4EU
Stroll, relax and draw inspiration from the creative and imaginative blend of plants, shrubs and trees in this delightful setting. You’ll find colour all summer long in the gravel garden, alpine scree and hillside garden.
Open Apr 1-Sep 30, daily, 10am-5.30pm, plus weekends only in Feb, Mar & Oct, 10am-4pm. Adults £6.50, OAPs £5.75, children (5-17) £2. Card valid Jul 1-Sept 30, except on special event days – phone or see website.
Details: 01630 647 237. www.dorothyclivegarden.co.uk
Eastnor, Nr Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1RL
In the foothills of the Malverns, these castle grounds offer woodland and lakeside walks, with many rare and spectacular trees in the arboretum, including giant redwoods. There is also a maze and icehouse.
Open Mar 29-Apr 1, May 5-6, 26-27 & Aug 25-26, plus June 2-Sep 29 Sun only (Jul 21-Aug 22 Sun-Thu), 11am-4.30pm. Adults £9.50/£6, OAPs £8.50/£5, children (3-15) £6/£4 (castle & grounds/grounds only). Card valid for whole property, but not for theatre/deer park events.
Details: 01531 633 160. www.eastnorcastle.com
Hampton Court Castle Gardens & Parkland
Near Hope-under-Dinmore, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 0PN
Explore these Victorian walled gardens in their historic setting. They include an ornamental, organic kitchen garden, canals, pavilions, and flower and herbaceous borders. The unusual yew maze features a Gothic tower with fine views, along with an underground tunnel leading to a waterfall and sunken garden.
Open Mar 23-Nov 3 daily, 10.30am-5pm. Adults £6.95, OAPs £5.95, children (5-16) £3.45. Single discount with card: 50%. Card not valid on bank holidays or event days.
Details: 01568 797 777. www.hamptoncourt.org.uk
Hill Close Gardens
Bread and Meat Close, Warwick CV34 6HF
This is a rare survival – a series of Victorian hedged gardens, restored and maintained by local volunteers. Grade II* listed, these hidden gardens contain historic brick summerhouses, fruit trees and colourful borders.
Open Mar 29- Oct 13, Mon-Fri, 10.30am-3.30pm (until 5pm Fri), Sat-Sun & bank hol Mon, 11am-5pm (from 2pm Sun). Adults/OAPs £3.50, children (5-16) £1.
Details: 01926 493 339. www.hillclosegardens.com
Jessamine Cottage Gardens
Kenley, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY5 6NS
With a parterre, kitchen garden, roses and island beds, this tranquil garden is full of scent and colour. You can stroll through the woodland and wildflower meadows, and sit and admire the views of Wenlock Edge.
Open May 1-Aug 31, Thu-Sun & bank hols, 2-6pm. Adults/OAPs £4, under-12s £1.50. Single discount with card: 50%. Card not valid on charity days: 21 Jul 21 & Aug 25.
Details: 01694 771 279. www.stmem.com/jessamine-cottage
Kenilworth Castle & Elizabethan Garden
Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 1NE
Walk in the footsteps of Elizabeth I as you explore a recreated garden, lost for 400 years. With carved arbours, a bejewelled aviary, plants prized for colour, perfume and fruit, and a marble fountain at its centre, it’s the most complete picture of an Elizabethan garden anywhere in the world.
Open Feb 17-21, daily, 10am-4pm, Mar 25- Nov 3, daily, 10am-5pm; rest of year Sat & Sun only, 10am-4pm. Adults £9, OAPs £8.10, children (5-15) £4.90. Card valid Apr 1-Aug 31, for the whole property, but not valid on bank hols & event days.
Details: 01926 852 078. www.english-heritage.org.uk/kenilworth
Moors Meadow Garden & Nursery
Moors Meadow, Collington, Bromyard, Herefordshire HR7 4LZ
This enchanting hillside garden combines originality of design with many intriguing features and sculptures. Managed organically, the seven tranquil acres are home to a wide range of rare plants and wildlife, and a resident artist blacksmith.
Open Mar 27-Sept 7, Fri-Tue, 11am-5pm, and by appointment. Adults/OAPs £5, children (4-16) £1. Single discount with card: 20%.
Details: 01885 410 318/07812 041 179. www.moorsmeadow.co.uk
The Picton Garden Old Court Nurseries
Walwyn Road, Colwall, Malvern, Worcestershire WR13 6QE
Set on the west side of the Malvern Hills, this garden is home to the National Collection of autumn flowering asters. More than 400 varieties produce a tapestry of purples, mauves, pinks and white, woven among many other late-season perennials, grasses, choice shrubs and bamboos.
Open Aug 1-Oct 20: Wed-Sun in Aug, then daily Sept 1-Oct 21, 11am-5pm. Adults/OAPs £3.50, under-18s free
Details: 01684 540 416. www.autumnasters.co.uk
Alcester, Warwickshire B49 5NJ
Cultivated and non-cultivated areas have been blended to achieve a garden rich in both horticulture and biodiversity. The winter garden and spring bulbs make way for summer meadows, herbaceous borders and annual bedding.
Open Mar-Oct, Sat & Sun & school hols (phone or see website for exact dates), 10am-5pm. Adults £8.50, OAPs £7, children (5-16) £5.50. Card valid for park and garden, but not valid on event days – phone or see website for details.
Details: 01789 762 090. www.ragleyhall.com
Wolston Lane, Ryton on Dunsmore, Coventry, CV8 3LG
The home of the UK’s leading organic charity, Garden Organic, these 10 acres are teeming with wildlife and brimming with fruit, vegetables and flowers, along with inspiration and advice.
Open all year, daily, 10am- 5pm. Adults £5.50, OAPs/children (5-16) £3.50. Single discount with card: 25%.
Details: 024 7630 3517. www.rytongardens.co.uk
Spetchley Park Gardens
Spetchley, Worcestershire WR5 1RS
One of the finest gardens of late Victorian England, it offers 30 acres of walks, vistas, rare plants, and mature trees and shrubs.
With formal, informal, herbaceous, exotic and woodland areas, there’s always plenty to admire and inspire.
Open Mar 22-Sep 30, Wed-Sun & bank hol Mon, 11am-6pm, then Sat-Sun only in Oct, 11am-4pm. Adults £6, OAPs £5.50, under-16s free. Card not valid on charity day: Mar 29, or on event days.
Details: 01453 810 303. www.spetchleygardens.co.uk
Stone House Cottage Garden
Nr Kidderminster, Worcestershire DY10 4BG
In this romantic walled garden, you’ll discover a diverse and thriving collection of rare and fascinating plants.
Adorning the walls are unusual brick follies, which in turn are covered with many lovely flowering climbers and shrubs. The richly planted borders are bursting with colour all summer.
Open Mar 27 -Sep 7, Wed-Sat, 10am- 5pm. Adults/OAPs £3, under-14s free.
Details: 01562 69902. www.shcn.co.uk
Castle Lane, Warwick CV34 4QU
Landscaped grounds surround the medieval castle, sweeping down to the River Avon. They include a rose garden full of scent, and an 18th century conservatory overlooking the formal peacock garden, with its fountain and topiary birds.
Open all year, daily, 10am-5pm. Castle ticket (inc grounds): adults £22.80/£16.80, OAPs £16.80/£12, children (4-11) £15.60/£10.20 (summer/winter). Card valid for castle ticket only, but not valid on charity days or event days – phone or see website.
Details: 0871 265 2000. www.warwick-castle.com
Witley Court & Gardens
Great Witley, Worcester WR6 6JT
Step back to an age of wealth and splendour in this romantic garden and ruined mansion. Visit the formal gardens, the beautiful lake and intricately restored east parterre garden. Also fully restored is the spectacular Perseus and Andromeda fountain.
Open Mar 29-Nov 3, daily, 10am- 6pm (until 5pm Oct-Nov); then Nov 4 Mar 31, Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm (daily Feb 17 -Feb 21). Adults £6.90, OAPs £6.20, children (5-15) £4.10. Card valid for whole property.
Details: 01299 896 636. www.english-heritage.org.uk/witley