Spring has arrived in fresh bursts of colour and new life making it the perfect time to get out and see the best of British gardens.
It’s a great time to experience nature waking up from its winter slumber and a stroll in a National Trust garden is sure to dazzle and amaze.
Morden Hall Park, London
With diverse landscapes and hidden histories, Morden Hall Park is a green oasis in South London’s suburbia. The river meanders through the former deer-park, creating a haven for wildlife. Surrounded by meadows, trees and the gentle sounds of birdsong and running water, the park offers a rare sense of discovery and a chance to get away from it all. From late May take a wander around the 38 flowerbeds on both sides of the stream and take in the wonderful scent of roses and dahlias. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/morden-hall-park
Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent
Soak up the sights and aromas of spring with a wander through Sissinghurst Castle Garden. Enjoy the rich, warm colours of the cottage garden and on the Moat Walk discover a bank of bright yellow azaleas. Also known as the spring garden, the lime walk is one area where former owner Harold Nicolson controlled the design and planting. Long beds of tulips, fritillaries and hyacinths are marked out by an avenue of pleached limes, scattered by generous terracotta pots, every inch bursting with colour for about four weeks. Early spring sees this garden become a carpet of colour: pink chinodoxias, scillas and white anemones, looked over proudly by a Magnolia salicifolia and a big, bold mauve rhododendron. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden
Trengwainton Garden, Cornwall
Traditionally known as the National Trust’s earliest flowering spring garden, there are breath-taking displays of magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias throughout the spring at Trengwainton, along with a beautiful walled kitchen garden full of ideas for your own growing space. Follow winding, wooded paths, find picnic spots by the stream or sit in quiet corners and breathe in the peace of this special place. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trengwainton-garden
Bodnant Garden, Conwy
Marvel at plants from all over the world grown from seed and cuttings collected over a century ago. Created by five generations of one family, this 80-acre garden is located with wonderful views of Snowdonia. Its grand terraced lawns, renowned collection of rhododendrons and a gloriously romantic waterfall make it one of the most celebrated gardens in Wales. In spring don’t miss the Dell: hidden deep within a wooded valley, with the river Hiraethlyn chattering through it’s a riot of colour and a haven for wildlife. Spring is also the perfect season to visit the laburnum arch, which will be in full bloom by late May. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden
Tucked away outside of Kendal, Sizergh Castle has beautiful gardens and 1,600 acres of estate to explore. You’ll find real variety in the garden – from the formal Dutch garden to the wilder landscape of the magnificent limestone rock garden. Sizergh has been allowed to evolve and expand gradually over 300 years and is still being developed to this day. During spring see the brightly coloured tulips on the top terrace, walk beneath cherry blossom in the Dutch garden and enjoy the spring colours in the rock garden. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sizergh
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire
Explore the ruins of the 12th-century Fountains Abbey and spot dainty spring flowers breaking through this stunning landscape. Studley Royal Water Garden was the breath-taking vision of John Aislabie and his son William. In the early 18th-century John Aislabie had great plans to impress visitors to his Yorkshire estate and turned the wild and wooded valley of the river Skell into one of England’s most spectacular Georgian water gardens. Amazingly the garden you see today is little changed from the one that would have impressed Aislabie’s visitors 200 years ago. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey
Rowallane Garden, County Down
Rowallane contains a treasure trove of exotic plants from around the world and spring time is one of the most exciting times to visit. This is when the enormous and much-admired collection of rhododendrons burst into colour. The magical walled garden is also a must see for the magnolias, daphnes and azaleas.The garden was created by Reverend John Moore in mid-1860s, planting woodland and using interesting stone ornamentation to sculpt the informal landscape. His nephew, Hugh Armytage Moore, continued his work from 1903, mingling exotic species with native plants – giving the garden a dramatic atmosphere. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/rowallane-garden