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Which garden would you pick?

I am visiting England with my husband in May, and we plan to visit three gardens: Sissinghurst, Hidcote and Cothay Manor Gardens. If we run out of time we might have to narrow down the gardens to two. What are your experiences of the three gardens? Pros and cons? Is May a good time to visit? Which one would you leave out if you had to pick one, and why?



  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ..well, I hope you enjoy your stay here... I find this an almost impossible question to answer but I would leave out Cothay, providing my travel arrangements fitted in with both Sissinghurst and Hidcote, which are on opposite sides of the country, but they are two of the most well known gardens,... Cothay is more obscure....albeit, it's on the same side as Hidcote, so within driving distance... so my travel plans might dictate....

    ..also, Hidcote was developed originally by an American, so you might feel close to that...(edit: excuse me, I have no idea why I assumed you were an American - my apologies)... although I think both this and Sissinghurst are probably at their best in mid June, a little late for you... but if a visitor, I couldn't leave them out really.... so Sissinghurst and Hidcote, for me..

  • We are most certainly staying somewhere in Somerset anyway, that's why Cothay feels like a good option although it is less well known. Thak you for sharing your thoughts! By the way, I'm from Finland. image

  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 8,984

    One thing to bear in mind is that Hidcote is next door to Kiftsgate, which is very different in style, but just as beautiful.  So you can easily visit them both in one day.  We even left our car in Hidcote car park and walked over to Kiftsgate.

    enjoy your trip here whatever you decideimage

    We did not inherit the earth from our grandparents.  We’re borrowing it from our children.
  • Both Sissinghurst and Hidcote are well worth a visit....Hope the sun shines for you !


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,470

    I would visit all three, and Kiftsgate ... somehow image

    I hope we have a wonderful spring and that by May the gardens are at their absolute beautiful best for you image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,540

    I've been to Sissinghurst and Hidcote, both are super but I prefer Hidcote. They are a long way apart but perhaps you want to drive from East to West. There are loads of gardens to visit near Hidcote, I like Bourton House and Kiftsgate.

    But if you go to Sissinghurst try to squeeze in Great Dixter as well. In fact there are loads of gardens to visit in Kent and Sussex as well. Nymans is gorgeous too. 

    I've probably thoroughly confused you once you look through that lot! But perhaps you've already found them all already. 

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Honestly, I think I could easily spend the entire spring and summer just visiting all your lovely gardens! We don't have the same type of big, lush gardens open to public here in Finland (although things grow really well, it is just the gardening culture that is different). But now we have a week, and I have a not-so-keen-in-gardening husband to deal with too... image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,470

    Another vote here for Gt Dixter - about 18 years ago it's the place that turned my newly acquired OH on to gardening - he's interested in art, architecture and design, and visiting the house as well as the garden enabled him to relate the two - success! image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 20,487

    I'd go for Great Dixter too.  Lovely garden and lovely atmosphere.  I have visited in May, June and July and it's been glorious each time.

    I was disappointed with Sissinghurst when I went in May 2013.  First of all I found the entrance and parking fees expensive as was the café and the quality and care of the plants on sale was poor.  In the garden there were beds that desperately needed weeding and replanting as the spring stuff had gone over, the white garden hadn't got into its stride and was a bit bare and the vegetable garden was almost empty but then it had been a hard winter. 

    Another vote for Hidcote and Kiftsgae too although it's years since I've been.

    I would love to visit Beth Chatto's garden but it's very much out of my way on my trips to to England so I'll have to make a special trip.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you for all your advice! Great Dixter do seem like a really good optione to. Let's hope we'll have time for another garden or two, beside the tree first ones!

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