Every time I visit the United Kingdom I make sure I tick as many iconic gardens off my bucket list as possible. This time the favourite gardens of my tour were Highgrove (Prince Charles' garden), Hidcote, Sissinghurst Castle, and Stowe.
Unfortunately I was not allowed to take any photos at Highgrove, but the highlight for me was the wildflower garden, which featured tulips and camassias and native orchids. Being a kiwi, I was interested to learn that New Zealand had gifted Prince Charles 60 tree ferns for his 60th birthday. Unfortunately only a couple of them had survived.
Hidcote in the Cotswolds is a stunning example of an arts and crafts garden. It was designed by Lawrence Johnston, who featured unusual varieties of plants that he collected during his extensive travels.
Sissinghurst Castle Garden was created by Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson. Like Hidcote, the garden comprises a series of rooms, including the famous 'White Garden'.
Stowe is a fine example of the English Landscape movement, and features many monuments and statuary that celebrate the Whig notions of freedom through open views and lack of formality. I was struck by the sheer number of focal points in the garden. It seemed that every time I turned a corner there was a new beautiful view of a monument or temple.