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Game of croquet anyone?

Posted on 22nd June 2012

The Great British summer

July is the beginning of the school holiday period, and as many people dream of their annual trip, there’s no better place I’d rather be than a garden. Whether I’m surrounded by the sweet smelling jasmine on a formally planted Italian hillside, by the heady scent of Lavender in southern France, or the gentle aroma of the old English rose, if the sun is shining, and I’m sat in a space filled with plants, I’m on holiday – I guess its lucky that I have a great garden at home which makes me feel like that every time I step into it.

We’re not going on holiday this year, as I’m hoping for a great British summer (support the nation during the recession and all that) so we’ve decided to holiday at home which I believe is fashionably known as a ‘staycation’. Instead of lining the pockets of our European neighbours, we’re going on a road trip around our country to see how many gardens we can cram into one week.

The last time we did this we began our trip in May in the Highlands of Scotland, where we were just in time for the fabulous array of Rhododendrons and Azaleas. The cool damp gardens provide many scenic walks through the woodland and the smell of the fresh clean air really does cleanse the soul. Its as if you can smell the earthy growth of spring.

After a few months back at home, our trip took us to the beautiful gardens of Devon and Cornwall, where a visit to the fabulous Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden project were combined with more modest privately owned back yards where lots of homemade scones were consumed! We then moved across the country to stay with friends in Kent ‘the garden of England’ where we visited a host of National Trust gardens (all much nicer than those the north has to offer!) as well as Sissinghurst, (famed for the white garden) Great Dixter (home of the belated Christopher Lloyd) and finally up to the Cotswolds to see Laurence Johnson’s Hidcote and the much talked about private garden of Prince Charles.

Quite a year and quite a trip but a very British summer filled with afternoon tea, cucumber sandwiches and a G&T … game of croquet anyone?