selected by Gardens Illustrated Magazine’s Sorrel Everton
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East London For some visitors to the 2012 London Olympics, the impressive planting using swathes of colourful wildflowers and naturalistic schemes deserved a plethora of gold medals.
Waltham Place, Berkshire This estate is owned by the Oppenheimer family and run on organic principles. The gardens encompass 40 acres and are a pioneering example of how to embrace self-seeders.
Sticky Wicket, Dorset It’s seven years since meadow garden expert Pam Lewis last opened Sticky Wicket and says she has relaxed her approach to her acres of flowery “chaos”. She opens the garden to groups by appointment.
Bodnant, Conwy One of Wales’ foremost gardens, renowned for its impressive plant collection and spectacular views of Snowdonia.
The Organic Garden, Somerset There’s a beautifully managed ornamental vegetable garden, gravel garden, steam-side garden and two meadow areas. Great tea room, too.
Wisley, Surrey Inspirational garden run with a series of show gardens, planting styles, vegetables growing, plant-packed borders and extensive trial beds where the most garden-worthy plants are assessed.
Edible Bus Stop, London A community-based scheme that aims to transform neglected urban sites into attractive and useful growing spaces along London bus routes, giving locals a green area to enjoy and perhaps even a harvest.
Beth Chatto Gardens, Essex Beth Chatto, who celebrates her 90th birthday this year, has advocated the right-plant, right-place principle for more than 50 years now. She created the garden from a wasteland of brambles, parched gravel and boggy ditches.
Packwood, Warwickshire Historic 16th-century house with garden famed for its huge ancient topiary yews. Amid this history are the magnificent borders at their best in late summer.
Old English Garden, Battersea Park, London Built in the early 1900s, this walled ornamental garden had long fallen into neglect – until last year when young designer Sarah Price and gardening charity Thrive transformed this space with frothy, long flowering, colourful planting.