National Trust’s Top Spring Gardens
DescriptionEven if the weather is dull and grey, there’s plenty of colour to see in the garden; it’s time to enjoy nature as it springs to life. Here are some of the National Trust’s best spring displays:
Anglesey Abbey Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire
Visit the grounds of this Jacobean house where tree blossom and hyacinths flourish in the garden. There’s also the winter garden to enjoy with its coloured tree barks, winter flowering shrubs and ground cover plants.
Belton House, Lincolnshire
Don’t miss the delicate snowdrops in early spring or, later in the season, the tulips in the Dutch garden – a truly uplifting sight. Belton House also promises magnificent, formal Italian gardens.
Blickling Hall, Park and Garden, Norfolk
Visit in May and follow the winding paths through the great wood, and pass through swathes of dainty English bluebells; it’s one of the best places to see them in the country. At the heart of the garden, discover one of England’s great Jacobean houses.
Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Look out for bluebells and yellow archangel in the woodlands, as well as the ‘Old Man of Calke’, an ancient oak that’s over 1,000 years old. In the walled gardens explore the flower garden and find beds brimming with pretty wallflowers.
Coleton Fishacre, Devon
Lose yourself in the magical woodland garden with its masses of azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias, which cascade towards the sea. Weave through glades, past tranquil ponds where tender plants from the Mediterranean, South Africa and New Zealand thrive in the moist and sheltered valley.
Dudmaston Estate, Shropshire
Explore eight acres of this picturesque garden and see magnolias, flowering cherries and kalmias, as well as primroses and daffodils against a backdrop of dramatic rhododendrons.
Dunham Massey, Cheshire
The UK’s largest winter garden continues to flourish, where splashes of bright colour set the place alive. Stroll down camellia walk, spot over 10,000 plants in the brilliant cyclamen grove, see swathes of blue and purple carpet the bluebell meadow and bask in the bright mix crocus, narcissi and iris in the yellow meadow.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire
Explore the ruins of the twelfth century Fountains Abbey and spot dainty spring flowers breaking through this stunning landscape. The water garden is just as spectacular with its moon-shaped ponds and classical statuary.
Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall
Described as a little bit of heaven on earth, this sub-tropical valley garden blooms with magnolias, wild flowers and woodland flora, including drifts of bluebells.
Nymans, West Sussex
This 20th-century garden is famed for its amazing collection of rare and important plants. In spring spot displays of snowdrops as well as camellias and magnolias underplanted with drifts of daffodils and grape hyacinths.
Plas Newydd Country House and Gardens, Gwynedd
Overlooking the Menai Straits, with uninterrupted views to Snowdonia the spectacular rhododendrons and garden - the 7th Marquis' pride and joy - the azaleas and magnolias in the Humphry Repton landscape are quite a sight to behold too.
Rowallane Garden, Co. Down
Spring time is one of the most exciting times to visit Rowallane, 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.
Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex
Enjoy a spot of woodland and water in this stunning 18th-century landscape garden designed by Capability Brown and Humphry Repton. In spring, enjoy the site of daffodils and bluebells blooming beneath canopies of rhododendrons and azaleas.
Sizergh Castle and Garden, Cumbria
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. Just five miles from junction 36 of the M6, it is the perfect pit stop.
Don’t let April showers discourage a visit to spring gardens. Wallington’s Edwardian conservatory in the walled Garden has a varied and colourful plant collection, making it the perfect place to find shelter.
Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire
The garden here boasts thousands of daffodils in April, along with a walled vegetable garden, Gothic tower, Chinese bridge and serpentine lakes.
The Weir, Herefordshire
The first daffodils emerged on St David’s Day and continue to flourish at this serene riverside garden. Created in the 1920s, The Weir covers ten acres and offers dramatic views of the Wye Valley and Herefordshire countryside beyond.