My family emigrated to the US four hundred years ago, but I'm still curious about the areas from which they originated, which are pretty consistently Surrey, Sussex, Norfolk. I find it fascinating that they seem to have packed up everything (including their hometown names) and came to the New World....Ipswich, England to Ipswich, Massachusetts, Portsmouth, England, to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, etc.
I'd love the comments of anyone who's visited some of the gardens we're considering, since I've only narrowed the list to about 40, which is still more than a little excessive! Please remember that Frank is not a die-hard gardener, and really likes the stereotypical "English garden" look.
Here's the list, in no particular order, that seems appealing:
- Great Dixter
- Charleston Farm
- Beth Chatto Gardens
- Mottisfont Abbey
- Osborne House
- Hever Castle
- Blenheim Palace
- Montacute House
- Windsor Castle and all that stuff
- Kew Gardens
- Vale End
- Savill Garden
- Hampton Court Palace
- Nymans Garden
- Iford Manor
- Arley Hall
- The Manor House at Upton Gray
Any personal experiences with these places? Are any of the "iconic" gardens disappointing? Are there any that I'm missing that I really need to visit?
On a retail note, I've heard that I really should visit Blooms of Bressingham, Merriments, Denman's in West Sussex, and Coton Manor Nursery. Any thoughts about these suggestions?
Lastly, how accessible is London if we choose to stay in Surrey or Sussex at a holiday cottage, rather than staying in the city? I'd really rather not drive "on the wrong side of the street" around the city!
Needless to say, I have much more faith in the recommendations of other gardeners than the internet.....looking forward to hearing your thoughts about my long list of possibilities!