English gardens are among the most visited attractions in the country, which originally emerged in the 18th century. The precursor of these landscaped parks was the style of the French gardens that were widespread and popular in the previous century. Instead of the formal groomed fashion of the French, the English landscape parks and gardens represented an idealized model of nature.
Inspired by nature, English gardens are a resultant endeavor of landscaping artists to enhance the natural scenery of the countryside. In previous years, cultured French estates were prevalent throughout Europe until the emergence of the extensive groomed parks with broad pastures, forested territories, and monuments designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor that enhanced the natural surroundings, which quickly spread, replacing the stiffly groomed landscapes of the French gardens.
London's Kew Gardens
Created in 1759, the Kew Gardens, also referred to as the Royal Botanical Gardens, comprise more than just a beauteous display of plants, but it is also world renowned as a principal leader in botanical research and education. Initially an exotic garden for Kew Palace, the garden shifted and expanded over the decades as care for the gardens was passed down through owners and caretakers, boasting a large selection of plants from a variety of ecosystems from all over the world. Attractions at Kew Gardens include the Kew Palace, the smallest of the royal palaces in the country, Minka House, a Japanese wooden house acquired in 2001, the Great Pagoda, erected in 1762, honoring the Chinese tradition, Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, a wedding present for her marriage to George III, the Treetop Walkway, taking visitors into the treetop, and the Waterlily House, the hottest and most humid of Kew Garden attractions.
Situated in West Sussex, England, Petworth House features a 700 acre landscaped garden, designed by the illustrious landscaper Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, which is home to a large herd of fallow deer, the largest in the country. Because of a number of paintings by Turner, this park has become one of the most famous in England.
Hampton Court Palace in Greater London highlights a collection of English gardens, which have evolved over time, creating a medley of landscapes across the palace grounds. Many of the gardens were designed and constructed in celebration of major events, including the Henry VIII’s Privy Gardens commemorating his succession to the throne, which has essentially faded from existence with remodeling and landscaping. One of the most well known features of the garden is the Hampton Court Maze, a hedge maze planted in the late 17th century for William III of Orange.
Abbey Gardens Scilly
Abbey Gardens Scilly
Originally a Benedictine abbey founded in the Isles of Scilly on the island of Tresco, the gardens of the abbey have become a unique destination, with a large collection of exotic plants from around the world, including places like the Mediterranean, South America, and South Africa. The grounds remain protected by the mild climate and the hedges and walls around the abbey. Within the garden, the Valhalla collection features dozens of figureheads of ships that have wrecked off the shores of the islands.