RHS Gardens – Wisley, Rosemoor and Harlow Carr. We have been members of the RHS for the last seven years and this allows us free entry into their gardens, although every year we berate ourselves for not visiting them often enough. Rosemoor and Wisley are the two closest to us, we have only visited Harlow Carr once, back in July 2007. It is up in Yorkshire so we also went to the Yorkshire Agricultural Show (now the Great Yorkshire Show), Fountains Abbey, the Yorvik Viking Centre and the York Castle Museum – all fabulous places to go for days out, now on our list as places we need to go back to, and they inspire and educate me in other ways that are for future blog posts!
Wisley, Surrey, has acres of orchards with every possible type of fruit tree you can imagine! It was their apple tasting days that helped us to decide which varieties we would grow ourselves.
The 2006 Apple Painting Competition
The 2008 Apple Painting Competition
There is a large vegetable garden with greenhouses (that are always stuffed with flourishing chilli plants) that we love to wander around as well as a herb garden and soft fruit garden.
There is a small patch of the vegetable garden that is my absolute favourite – the potager. Each time we visit it has changed slightly, depending on who is looking after it.
Rosemoor, Devon, is not as vast and also not usually so busy! There is a smaller herb and vegetable garden and an orchard.
They also have a gorgeous greenhouse, and examples of good planting practice and techniques that we have tried to emulate. Also the flowerpot scarecrows are really good fun!
Harlow Carr, Yorkshire
However, it is not just the plants that we go to see, we also take note of the hard landscaping features as well – the paths and walls, fences and gates – these have all informed us and helped us to shape the garden that we want at Parkside. One that is productive, safe and pleasing to the eye, well our eyes anyway!
All the gardens were promoting the 3mx3m vegetable plot at the time when most of these photographs were taken.
There are other places of inspiration as well that we have visited (often, in some cases!) – the Eden Project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Villandry, Hamilton Gardens, Auckland Botanical Gardens, Kew Gardens, Christchurch Botanical Gardens… the list is pretty long, so more on these in the future!