Nominated by Joe Swift, BBC Gardeners’ World presenter

16th January 2017

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1) Great Dixter, East Sussex

Christopher Lloyd developed this garden over his lifetime and his friend Fergus Garrett now keeps the spirit of horticultural ideas and adventure alive. The gardens lie around the house, parts of which date to the 15th century, and include an exotic garden, sunken garden, long borders, topiary pieces and fabulous meadows.

2) Hauser and Wirth, Somerset 

The newest on this list, completed in 2014. Dutch designer and leading figure in the New Perennial movement Piet Oudolf has created a garden that is simple, beautiful clever and romantic. Paths provide a choice of routes through oval mounds of grass that bring definition to the design while connecting it to the rural landscape beyond.

3) Inverewe Gardens, Wester Ross

A 49-acre lush sub-tropical garden created in the 1860s by Osgood McKenzie, home to exotic plants that enjoy mild temperatures brought in by the Gulf Stream. It’s a fabulous garden that proves determination and hard work can overcome a difficult site. The curved walled garden faces south with stunning views over Loch Ewe.

4) Trebah, Cornwall

A classic Cornish valley garden and a great family day out. Meandering paths wind through over-scale plants that enjoy ideal growing conditions. Camellias, magnolias, bamboos and a fabulous giant gunnera jungle lead you to a lake within the hydrangea valley. Beyond the garden is a private beach with local Cornish ice cream, heaven!

5) Scampston Hall, Yorkshire

The second on my list by Piet Oudolf. At Scampston Hall, he’s reinvented what can go into a Victorian walled kitchen garden.
A path leads you halfway around the outside edge to build up expectation before all is revealed; wide meadows of grasses, sumptuous perennial planting, garden rooms with simple topiary pieces as well as a viewing mound.

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