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Seasonal Gardens - whether the grand, formal displays of some of our historic houses or the more modest but equally appealing cottage gardens - attract visitors from all over the world and are an inspiration to gardeners, both fledgling and experienced. The following is a list of flowers and garden features that are at their best in this season with a comprehensive guide as to where to see them. The precise month of flowering, given in brackets, will often vary according to weather and location and many plants will remain in flower for several weeks overlapping calendar months.

List of Flowers at their best at the time of year and where to see them

Winter Aconites (Jan-March): Ashcombe Wood; Batsford Arboretum; Cotswold Farm Garden; Hidcote Manor; Kempsford Manor; Lacock Abbey; Miserden Park; Owlpen Manor; Sezincote; Sudeley Castle; Westonbirt Arboretum

Bluebells (mid April-May): Ashcombe Wood; Batsford Arboretum; Betty Daw's Wood; Bowood House and Gardens; Chipping Croft; Chosen Hill; Coaley Peak; Cotswold Farm Garden; Cranham Woods; Dowdeswell Wood; Five Acre Grove; Hidcote Manor; Hodges Barn; Kiftsgate Court; Kites Hill; Lineover Wood; Lydney Park; Sezincote; Siccaridge Wood; Standish Wood; Sudeley Castle; Three Groves Wood; Urn Cottage, Charfield; Westonbirt Arboretum; Willow Lodge; Woodchester Park

Camellias (March-May): Abbey House; Batsford Arboretum; Westonbirt Arboretum; Willow Lodge

Cherry Blossom (mid April-May): Batsford Arboretum; Betty Daw's Wood; Chipping Croft; Conderton Manor; Cotswold Farm Garden; Gwen & Vera's Fields; Hidcote Manor; Highnam Court; Hodges Barn; Lydney Park; Mill Dene; Miserden Park; The Old Barn; Pear Tree Cottage; The Old Chequer; Sezincote; Snowshill Manor; Stone House; Upton Wold; Westonbirt Arboretum; Westbury Court; Willow Lodge

Cowslips (April-May): Coaley Peak; Cotswold Farm Garden; Daneway Banks; Edge Common; Minchinhampton; Rodborough Commons; Three Groves Wood; Wingmoor Farm Meadow

Crocuses (Feb-March): Hidcote Manor; Highnam Court; Kempsford Manor; Lacock Abbey; Lammas Park; The Old Chequer; Painswick Rococo Garden; Rosemary Cottage; Sezincote; Stone House; Westonbirt Arboretum
Daffodils (March-April): Abbey House; Batsford Arboretum; Betty Daw's Wood; Chipping Croft; Colesbourne Park; Conderton Manor; Cotswold Farm Garden; Eastleach House; Gwen & Vera's Fields; Hidcote Manor; Highnam Court; Hodges Barn; Kempsford Manor; Lacock Abbey; Lammas Park; Lydney Park; The Old Chequer; The Old Corn Mill; Pear Tree Cottage; Rosemary Cottage; Sezincote; Stone House; Sudeley Castle; Upton Wold; Urn Cottage, Charfield; Vell Mill Daffodil Meadow; Westonbirt Arboretum; Willow Lodge 'Daffodil Walk' - for details contact Gloucestershire Tourism (01452 425657)

Hellebores (Jan-early April): Abbey House; Batsford Arboretum; Colesbourne Park; Eastleach House; Hidcote Manor; Highnam Court; Hodges Barn; Lammas Park; The Old Barn; The Old Chequer; Pear Tree Cottage; Rosemary Cottage; Sezincote; Stone House; Tinpenny Farm; Urn Cottage, Charfield; Willow Lodge.
Magnolias (Spring Flowering) (March-May): Batsford Arboretum; Chipping Croft; Cotswold Farm Garden; Eastleach House; Hidcote Manor; Highnam Court; Hodges Barn; Lydney Park; Miserden Park; Sezincote; Upton Wold; Westonbirt Arboretum; Willow Lodge

Orchids (Early Purple) (April-June): Cotswold Farm Garden; Dowdeswell Woods; Edge Common; Elliott (Swift's Hill); Minchinhampton; Rodborough Commons; Painswick Beacon; Selsley Common

Primroses (March-April): Batsford Arboretum; Betty Daw's Wood; Coaley Peak; Elliott (Swift's Hill); Gwen; Vera's Fields; Miserden Park; Sudeley Castle; Westonbirt Arboretum

Rhododendrons (Early Flowering) (March-April): Abbey House; Batsford Arboretum; Bowood House; Gardens; Lydney Park; Westonbirt Arboretum; Willow Lodge

Snakeshead Fritillaries (April-May): Lacock Abbey; North Meadow at Cricklade; Stone House; Sudeley Castle
Tulips (late April-May): Abbey House; Conderton Manor; Cotswold Farm Garden; Eastleach House; Hidcote Manor; Highnam Court; Hodges Barn; Mill Dene; The Old Chequer; The Old Corn Mill; Urn Cottage, Charfield


List of Seasonal Garden Features and where to see them

Alpine Beds: Hidcote Manor; Lammas Park; The Old Chequer; Willow Lodge
Many alpines are spring flowering including the pasque flower, anemone, viola, aubretia and alpine pink. In gardens, the rockery is the traditional home of many of these and this should be full of colour and interest early in the year.
Spring Bulbs: Abbey House; Batsford Arboretum; Cerney House Garden; Chipping Croft; Colesbourne Park; Conderton Manor; Eastleach House; Hidcote Manor; Highnam Court; Hodges Barn; Humphrey's End House; Kempsford Manor; Lacock Abbey; Lammas Park; Lydney Park; Mill Dene; Miserden Park; The Old Barn; The Old Chequer; The Old Corn Mill; Painswick Rococo Garden; Pear Tree Cottage; Pound Hill House; Rosemary Cottage; Stone House; Sudeley Castle; Trull House; Upton Wold; Urn Cottage, Charfield; Westonbirt Arboretum
Common naturalized spring flowers growing from bulbs, corms or rhizomes include snowdrops, aconites, crocuses, grape hyacinths, daffodils, bluebells, scillas and snake's head fritillaries all of which, when grown together, form welcome splashes or sheets of colour early in the year
Waterside Gardens: Abbey House; Batsford Arboretum; Chipping Croft; Colesbourne Park; Cowley Manor; Eastleach House; Hidcote Manor; Highnam Court; Hodges Barn; Humphrey's End House; Lacock Abbey; Lydney Park; Mill Dene; The Old Corn Mill; Owlpen Manor; Pound Hill House; Sezincote; Snowshill Manor; Stone House; Upton Wold; Urn Cottage, Charfield; Westbury Court; Westonbirt Arboretum; Willow Lodge
In many respects the waterside is at its best in spring. Marginal plantings, now in flower, have the space to look showy whereas later on growth becomes so lush as to be in danger of obscuring individual plants. Most cultivated water gardens will contain primulas, hostas, lilies and irises while wild flowers found beside ponds, canals and rivers include the marsh marigold, flag irises, saxifrages and buttercups

Wild Flowers - Gardens: Batsford Arboretum; Colesbourne Park; Cotswold Farm Garden; Cowley Manor; Dyrham Park; Eastleach House; Hidcote Manor; Hodges Barn; Humphrey's End House; Lammas Park; Laycock Abbey; Miserden Park; Newark Park; The Old Corn Mill; Painswick Rococo Garden; Rosemary Cottage; Stone House; Sudeley Castle; Trull House; Upton Wold; Urn Cottage, Charfield; Willow Lodge; Westonbirt Arboretum

Wild Flowers - Nature Reserves; Commons: Ashcombe Wood; Daneway Banks; Edge Common; Elliott (Swift's Hill); Greystones Farm; (Salmonsbury Meadows); Lineover Wood; Minchinhampton & Rodborough Commons; North Meadow at Cricklade; Selsley Common; Snows Farm; Strawberry Banks
Wild flowers awakening in early spring in undisturbed meadowland, woodland and grassy banks start with snowdrops and aconites, followed by wild daffodils and wood anemones, cowslips and oxslips, celandines, primroses and, later, a haze of bluebells

Woodland Gardens: Abbey House; Batsford Arboretum; Colesbourne Park; Conderton Manor; Cowley Manor; Highnam Court; Hodges Barn; Lacock Abbey; Lammas Park; Lydney Park; The Old Barn; The Old Corn Mill; Painswick Rococo Garden; Willow Lodge; Westonbirt Arboretum
On the deciduous woodland floor early in the year, snowdrops and aconites contrast with bare trees, evergreens and greensward. Soon wood anemones, violets, primroses and carpets of bluebells emerge while many spring flowering trees and shrubs display their blossom and the tender greens and browns of opening leaves.


List of Gardens Open to the Public (Gardens open to the public either on a regular basis or by appointment by telephone or letter - all have an entrance charge)

Abbey House, Malmesbury (01666 822212) Open daily March-Oct 11-6pm *UK's largest collection of roses Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-Marsh (01386 701441). Open March-October, daily, 10-5pm; winter, weekends only, 10-4pm *Special collections of oaks, mountain ash, white beams, magnolias, maples, bamboos, firs, pines, Japanese cherries
Bowood House and Gardens, Derry Hill, Calne (01249 812102). Open daily, mid April-mid June, 11-6pm or dusk
Cerney House, North Cerney (01285 831300) Open Tues, Wed, Fri, Sun April-July 10-4pm
*National Collection of Tradescantia
Chipping Croft, Tetbury (01666 503178) Private visits welcome by appointment
Colesbourne Park, nr Cheltenham (01242 870264). Open on restricted days Feb-April 1-4.30pm
*Special collection of snowdrops, hellebores, daffodils
Conderton Manor, Tewkesbury (01386 725389) Private visits welcome by appointment
Cotswold Farm Garden, Duntisbourne Abbots, Cirencester (01285 821857). Private visits welcome by appointment
Dyrham Park, Dyrham, nr Chippenham (0117 937 2501) (NT).
Open daily exc. Wed, Thurs, April-Oct 11-5pm
Eastleach House, Eastleach Martin, Glos GL7 3NW. Private visits welcome by appointment to be made by letter
Hidcote Manor Manor Garden, Chipping Campden (01386 438333) (NT). Open on Sat-Wed March-Oct 10.30-5pm.
Highnam Court, Highnam (01452 308251). Private visits welcome by appointment
Hodge's Barn, Shipton Moyne, nr Tetbury (01666 880202). Private visits welcome by appointment from April-10 Aug
Humphrey's End House,
Randwick (01453 765401). Private visits welcome by appointment
Kempsford Manor, Kempsford (01285 810131) Open most Wed & Sun Feb-Sept 2-5pm
Kiftsgate Court, nr Chipping Campden (01386 4438777). Open on Wed, Thurs, Sun in April, May, Aug, Sept; Mon, Wed, Thurs, Sat, Sun in June-July 12-6pm
Lacock Abbey, Chippenham (01249 730227) (NT) Open daily, March-Oct 11-5.30pm
Lammas Park, Cuckoo Row, Minchinhampton (01453 886471). Private visits welcome by appointment
Lydney Park, Lydney (01594 842027). Open on Sun & Wed, mid-March-June 11-6pm
Mill Dene, School Lane, Blockley (01386 700457) Open Tues-Fri, April-Oct, 10-5.30pm
Miserden Park, Miserden (01285 821303) Open on Tues, Wed, Thurs April-Sept 10-5pm
Newark Park, Ozleworth, Wotton-under-Edge (NT). Open Wed & Thursday, April-Oct 11-5 & two weekends in Feb for snowdrops
The Old Barn, Upper Dowdeswell, Cheltenham (01242 820858). Private visits welcome by appointment
The Old Chequer, Draycott, Moreton-in-Marsh (01386 700647). Private visits welcome by appointment in April and June
The Old Corn Mill, Aston Crews, nr Ross on Wye (01989 750059). Private visits welcome by appointment
Owlpen Manor, Uley, Dursley (01453 860261) Open Tues-Sun & BH Mon, April-Oct 2-5pm
Painswick Rococo Garden, Painswick (01452 813204). Open daily Jan-Oct 11-5pm
Pear Tree Cottage, Gotherington, nr Cheltenham (01242 674592). Private visits welcome by appointment Pound Hill House, West Kington (01249 782781) Open daily Mar-Sept 2-5pm and by appointment
Rosemary Cottage, 8 Peter Street, Frocester, Stonehouse (01453 827607). Private visits welcome by appointment
*National Collection of Rosmarinus officinalis - best viewed in April
Sezincote, nr Moreton-in-Marsh (01386 700444) Open on Thurs, Fri, BH Mon Jan-Nov
Snowshill Manor, nr Broadway (01386 852410) (NT). Open Wed-Sun Mar-Oct 11-5.30pm Stone House, Wyck, Rissington, Cheltenham (01451 810337). Private visits welcome by appointment from April-end Sept Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe (01242 602308) Open daily Mar-Oct 10.30-5.30pm
Tinpenny Farm, Fiddington, Tewkesbury (01684 292668). Private visits welcome by appointment
Trull House, nr Tetbury (01285 841255) Open on Sat & Wed April-Aug 11-5pm
Upton Wold, nr Moreton-in-Marsh (01386 700667). Private visits welcome by appointment. National collection of Juglans
Urn Cottage, Charfield, nr Wotton under Edge (01453 843156). Private visits welcome by appointment
Westbury Court Garden, Westbury-on-Severn (01452 760461) (NT). Open Wed-Sun, April-Oct 11-6pm
Westonbirt Arboretum, nr Tetbury (01666 880220). Open daily all year, 10-8pm or dusk
*18,000 trees and 17 miles of walks to explore
*National Collections of Salix and Acer (Japanese cvs)

Willow Lodge Garden and Arboretum, nr Longhope (01452 831211) Private visits welcome by appointment


Nature Reserves and Commons Nature Reserves and Commons (Unless otherwise stated, all are open at all times - admission free)

Ashcombe Wood (WT) Swainswick
Betty Daw's Wood (GWT) 2 miles north east of Newent *Wild daffodils and primroses
Chosen Hill (GWT) On south- & east-facing slopes of Churchdown Hill
Coaley Peak (GWT) West-facing slope of Cotswold scarp between Frocester and Nympsfield
Cranham Wood, East of Cranham
Daneway Banks, SSSI (GWT) West of Sapperton Public footpaths and bridleways open at all times - admission free
Dowdeswell Wood (GWT) Northern slopes of Chelt valley east of Charlton Kings
Edge Common (NT) South of Edge
Elliott (Swifts Hill) SSSI (GWT) South east of Elcombe, Stroud
Five Acre Grove (GWT) West of Stroud near Leonard Stanley. Open to GWT members at all times - admission free Greystones Farm (& Salmonsbury Meadows) SSSI (GWT) East of Bourton-on-the-Water Footpaths & the Oxfordshire Way open at all times - admission free
*Scheduled ancient monument and historic farm buildings in Bourton-on-the-Water
Gwen & Vera's Fields (GWT) South of Greenaway's Wood, north east of Newent View from entrance gates only
*Wild daffodils
Haresfield Beacon (NT) On top of Cotswold scarp south east of Haresfield
Kites Hill Nature Reserve (World Land Trust) South of Prinknash Park
Lineover Wood SSSI (WT) On Cotswold scarp above Charlton Kings
Minchinhampton & Rodborough Commons (NT) West of Minchinhampton
Neu-Lindsey (GWT) Adjoins western edge of Minchinhampton Common, south of St Chloe Open to GWT members at all times - admission free
North Meadow at Cricklade (English Nature Reserve)
*Holds 80% of British population of snakeshead fritiallaries
Painswick Beacon, On Painswick Hill north of Painswick
Selsley Common, South West of Selsley
Siccaridge Wood (GWT) In Frome Valley west of Sapperton.
*Lily of the Valley
Snows Farm (GWT) On valley side opposite Slad Village. Access by permit only from GWT (01452 383333) Standish Wood (NT) West of Whitehill
Strawberry Banks (GWT) Adjoins
Three Groves Wood Three Groves Wood (GWT) North side of Frome Valley east of Chalford
Vell Mill Daffodil Meadow (GWT) Adjoins River Leadon, east of Dymock *Wild daffodils
Wingmoor Farm Meadow (GWT) In Severn Vale, north of Cheltenham Access by permit only from GWT (01452 383333)

GWT = Gloucester Wildlife Trust (01452 383333)
NT = National Trust (0870 4584000)
WT = Woodland Trust (01476 581135)
SSSI = Site of Special Scientific Interest
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Gardens to see in The Royal Forest of Dean, Wye Valley, Vale of Leadon, Severn Vale, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire

This page last modified Thursday, 29-Jan-2015 11:14:42 GMT