Holland Farm, South Brewham, nr Bruton, Somerset BA10 0JZ
Two outstanding Somerset gardens open this weekend for the first time for the National Garden Scheme: Holland Farm today, and Batcombe House (near Shepton Mallet, BA4 6HF, 2pm-5.30pm, £6, child £2) tomorrow. The garden design partnership Mazzullo Russell (Libby Russell owns Batcombe House), have had a hand in the design and planting at both and they are exhilarating examples of contemporary country house gardens where consummate details of plantsmanship provide a varied foreground between a house and the countryside. The heady summer combinations of roses and perennials, offset by hornbeam, box and yew, are sublime.
Open Saturday June 15, 10am-4pm, £6, children free, home-made teas.
Long Itchington Gardens, nr Southam, Warwickshire CV47 9PD
It is probably just as well that this large group of 14 gardens is open today and tomorrow, giving you plenty of time to explore them all and enjoy this delightful Warwickshire village that lies next to the Grand Union Canal. Canalside paths and historic buildings add to the pleasure as you wander and the gardens offer the rich variety that typifies such groups. From a small courtyard to an extensive garden looking out to the countryside, they will keep you busy all day. There are six pubs around the village green and home-made teas in the church.
Open Saturday June 15 and Sunday June 16, noon-5pm, combined admission £7, children free, home-made teas, plants for sale.
Down Place, near Petersfield, West Sussex GU31 5PN
Blessed with one of the country’s most iconic settings on the South Downs with wonderful panoramic views out to the undulating, wooded countryside, the seven acres exemplify that English idyll of a garden that merges seamlessly with its surrounding landscape. In certain areas the sloping ground has been moulded into levels for rose and herbaceous borders; there is a well-stocked vegetable garden and walks shaded by beech trees. But the most exciting illustration of the benefits of the light chalky soil is the extensive meadow garden that sweeps into the distance, dotted with various native orchids.
Open Sunday June 16 and Monday, 2pm-6pm, £4.50, children free, homemade teas, plants for sale.
- For all gardens open for the National Gardens Scheme, visit ngs.org.uk