Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so the saying goes. However, when it comes to secret gardens, there are several universal criteria that almost everyone can agree on - such as the range and blend of plant species as well as history behind the gardens’ plots. With that in mind, we have compiled below a list of the five most beautiful secret gardens in the UK.
Originally named as the Apothecaries' Garden, Chelsea Physic Garden was established in 1673 to exclusively study plants for medicinal purposes. The garden, which is the second oldest botanical garden in the country, currently boasts of over 5000 species of plants inside its heated brick walls.
Formerly known as the Kensington Roof Gardens, the 1.5 acres roof garden is located on the 7th floor of the Kensington High Street complex. Featuring three separate gardens (Spanish, Tudor and woodland), the Roof Gardens also doubles up as a celebrated restaurant and private club.
Situated in valley just outside of Penzance, Tremenheere is the brainchild and labour of love of Dr. Neil Armstrong. Dr. Armstrong spent fifteen years prior to its opening in 2012 to create the secret garden, using bamboos, palm trees and ferns as walls. Today, the 22-acre sub-tropical garden also plays host to art exhibitions and weddings.
Located near Dartmoor National Park, the Garden House is an explosion of colours and scents. Built around a medieval ruin nestled inside Devon’s rustic countryside, the walled garden also features a South African Garden, Cottage Garden and Wild Flower Meadow.
Founded circa 1800, the Swiss Garden is a blend of old English gardens, alpine countryside, ponds, bridges, grottos and cottages that feels like a 19th century painting by French Impressionist icon, Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Long seen as the poorer and shoddier cousin of the neighbouring Shuttleworth Aviation Museum, the two-century old Swiss Garden found a new lease of life in 2012 following a £3.6m revamp funded by a £2.8m Heritage Lottery grant and the Central Bedfordshire Council.
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