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jamesholtjamesholt Central texasPosts: 195
I'm from texas and have recently joined the rhs.  I'm traveling to london  may 21 to see the chelsea flower show.  What other gardens would you recommend seeing in may near london?  Should I hire a guide?


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 30,989
    Hi @holt120- it might be worth asking again nearer the time, although I'm sure a few members will offer some suggestions.

    Would you be using public transport? The distance you can travel will affect suggestions  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 25,231
    When you say "near", what sort of radius are you considering?
  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 8,973
    edited November 2019
    Chelsea Physic Garden is near, and well worth a visit - not very big but packed full of interesting plants and their history.

    A bit further afield is Kew .......easy to get to on the Underground, and a fabulous place to spend a day.  Even if it’s pouring with rain, the glasshouses are amazing.

    And always worth checking the NGS (National Garden Scheme) website for private gardens open at that time - sometimes people open round then to take advantage of the Chelsea Fever.

    A bit further afield is Wisley - always a great garden - but its a bit of a pain to get to - needs a train from Waterloo to Woking then a 30 minute taxi ride.

    I wouldn’t bother hiring a guide - just get maps at the ticket office and wander round yourself.

    Enjoy 😀😀😀
    We did not inherit the earth from our grandparents.  We’re borrowing it from our children.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,565
    edited November 2019
    How long are you coming for? Where else are you planning to visit? Do you have any mobility issues? Are you travelling alone or with a companion?

    If you’re just staying in London then Chicky’s suggestions of Kew, Chelsea Physic and National Garden Scheme gardens are good. 

    If you’re venturing further afield and can rent a car there are many other gardens outside London which I would put on a ‘Don’t Miss’ list depending which part of the country you’re heading for.

    Sissinghurst and Gt Dixter are famous gardens not too far from London in Sussex. There’s Beth Chatto’s in Essex. Lovely Heligan in Cornwall. Lots of others all over the country. 

    Personally, I wouldn’t hire a guide but, if you’re on your own, have reservations about getting around by car (for outside London) or really want to cram a lot in to a short visit it might be worth considering.

    Otherwise I would do a lot of researching and make up your own good itinerary. You’ve made the best start posting on here. We’re a friendly bunch from all over the UK and we can help you put together the best holiday ever! 
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 627
    You can get a bus to Wisley from kingston upon thames.  Much more fun than a taxi as if it’s a double decker you can peer into people's gardens on the journey.  And cheaper!

    so regular trains from waterloo, and the bus station is just nearby. 

    There are a lot of companies who do garden tours and day trips if you wamt to explore a but further out of London.  For example Sissinghurst is a great garden - although busy.  Google is your friend.
    And closer to chelsea time you might find other suggestions advertised, like this:

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,344
    edited November 2019
    If you can get to Gt Dixter you won’t regret it ... a wonderful ancient family home and an entrancing garden that continues to be relevant to contemporary gardening without losing its classic charm. Love it. If you’re coming to the UK to see gardens it’s an
    absolute must.

    And if you’re down that way you’re not far from Sissinghurst which is so famous, and then there’s the late Derek Jarman’s magical garden on the shingle beach at Dungeness. 

    Don’t leave the UK without seeing it 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • jamesholtjamesholt Central texasPosts: 195
    Thank you
  • jamesholtjamesholt Central texasPosts: 195
    I am a great fan of the British gardening shows and I never miss gardening world on amazon.  I want to have a British type garden here in texas but have to only use plants that can have full sun and lots of heat.  This was my first year to have a garden but have jumped in with both feet.  My favorite animal in the garden is the hummingbird and I have devoted much of the garden to growing flowers that attract them.  The vegetable garden grows plants from Africa very well such as okra, cow peas red beans.  
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,844
    What a beautiful place you have  :)
    “This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in the oncoming traffic.”
    ― Terry Pratchett
  • jamesholtjamesholt Central texasPosts: 195
    Thank you
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