Gardens and man-made landscapes are one of Britain’s greatest contributions to world cultural heritage. Over the years I have had the opportunity to visit many of them, some on numerous occasions. Something that always surprises me is how few people visit them, apart from a handful of the most famous ones.
I’m on a mission to bring our fabulous British and world gardens to a wider audience, sharing some indulgent stories, quirky views and a bit of background information on what makes these places special.
I trained and practised as an architect before becoming a garden designer, and have had a wonderful time over the last thirty years designing many gardens and landscapes in Britain, France, Italy and the US.
Visiting a garden is always a snapshot in time. That fourth dimension, time, can play havoc with them. Energetic new head gardeners, new planting, improved funding and the introduction of new features can make for rapid change; and, of course, some gardens slide into decay or lose direction.
The gardens were visited between 2017 and early 2020, and many of the best are the least known because of low levels of funding and lack of media coverage. These have proved to be amongst the most delightful surprises. Going forward, as we move out of the pandemic and travel becomes easier, I hope to add new reviews and revisit old favourites.
Richard Jackson, January 2021