We were honoured recently when the Skip garden was chosen by Alan Titchmarsh to appear as a special mention in his TV programme ‘Britain’s Best Back Gardens’.
Which got me thinking ‘what are my favourite gardens?’
Paul's Top Ten Gardens (some cheating)
1. I don't think I've ever met a botanic garden I didn't like - a heady mix of science and art. These are some of my favourites – I’ve cheated by lumping them all together.
Kew, Wakehurst, Logan (Scotland), Caernarvon (Wales), Brooklyn & Bronx NY, Berkeley (USA) and Tenerife.
2. Sissinghurst in Kent. Designed and built by Vita Sackville-West who developed the concept of ‘formal layout\informal planting’ has an iconic white garden.
3. The Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park/Virginia Water. Royal Garden where the Queen parks her many botanic gifts. Best in springtime for mind-blowing displays of azaleas, rhododendron, magnolias and daffodils.
4. The walled garden on Lindisfarne Island in Northumberland designed and built by Gertrude Jekyll. A perfect gem of a garden, next to the fairytale castle on this windy island.
5. WWT Wetland Centre in Barnes. It's a garden, honest - built to look like a natural wetland. Wildfowl like it, visitors like it - I like it.
6. The Physic Garden in Chelsea. This herb garden produced medicines for seamen down at Greenwich hospital. It's still a balm today.
7. Caroline Ware's wild garden at the Natural History Museum. What can I say, I'm biased but it's a great garden.
8. Compton Acres in Poole, Dorset. A collection of ten small ornamental gardens; includes a Japanese, Roman, English, Rock, Heather and Palm Court garden. Small but perfectly formed, tucked into the cliffs above Poole Harbour.
9. Abbotsbury sub-tropical gardens in Dorset, a wonderful garden in the midst of rolling Dorset chalk Downland and stunning coastal views.
10. Jardin Botanique et Exotique Val Rahmeh just outside Menton on the French Riviera - Côte d'Azur. In my mind this garden defines the word 'exotic'. Beautiful and exciting, it lingers in the mind (and was growing a lemon the size of a rugby ball!).
And a few pictures of everyone's favourite garden...