This is the time of year when many gardens are at their peak – full of spectacular displays of roses clambering up walls and across pergolas, or swathes of lavender bushes that release a heady scent as you brush past. From formal borders to cottage gardens, you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere that’s not brimming over with colourful blooms.
We've rounded up some of the summer gardens to visit, so you can make the most of the season. If your trip inspires you to create your own slice of paradise at home, then why not check out our gardeners' tips below for a few handy pointers?
Please note that some gardens may still be closed. Make sure to check the property page to see if it's open before you book a visit.
We’re still working hard to keep our gardens looking their best. But with fewer staff and volunteers to help out, things may look a little different on your visit. Please bear with us as we adjust to these challenging times.
In England, we're pleased to have been able to keep our gardens, parks and outdoor spaces open through the current lockdown. From 2 December, we'll be able to reopen some houses and welcome you to sit in our cafés again. In tier 3, indoor areas will remain closed and cafés will be takeaway only. Please follow your area's tiering system and government guidance when planning a visit.
Following Welsh government guidance, all places in Wales are now open for Wales residents, and we're pleased to be welcoming many of you again.
In line with Northern Ireland Executive circuit break restrictions, our gardens and parks in Northern Ireland will open from 28 November. All houses, shops and visitor centres will stay closed during the circuit break until 11 December, and cafés will be takeaway only.
Before visiting, please always check local and national government guidance on travelling. You can check the property webpage in case of local restrictions. We're following government advice closely and will reopen more places as soon as we can.
Summer blooms to look out for
These striking, spiky blue flowers make a real impact in a border, and are also great for attracting pollinators such as bees to your garden.
Lilies and waterlilies
With their large showy blooms in bright colours, lilies are a real summer showstopper. Don’t forget to look out for waterlilies blooming on ponds and lakes too.
Clematis come in a huge range of colours and shapes, but they all look great climbing up a wall or sprawling over a pergola. Some can even be grown as shrubs.
Poppies are easy to grow, so they’re a great option or kids to raise from seed. Instantly recognisable, they can be found throughout the whole of summer.
Hardy and low-maintenance, lavender is a great option for borders, containers, or even lining pathways. For many people it’s also the real smell of summer.
It wouldn’t be a British summer without the scent of roses on the air. There are thousands of varieties to discover. How many will you find?
Buddleja is commonly known as the butterfly bush, because it’s a favourite source of nectar for the insects. It’s a great choice for a sunny spot in the garden.
Want to get your garden looking its best this summer? Our gardeners have come up with five seasonal gardening tips, so you can create your own green oasis at home.
Water your plants in the morning or evening when it’s cooler. This lets the water get to the roots, rather than evaporating in the heat.
If you grow veg you might end up with a glut in peak season. The best thing to do is harvest it, blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, then freeze for later.
Keep an eye out for tall plants that could topple over or snap, and prop them up with supports – canes and twine are a good option, or steel rods.
Weed and prune
Take a hoe every time you go into the garden, and do a bit of weeding to keep on top of it. You can also prune spring shrubs that have finished flowering.
Don't panic about the lawn
Don’t worry about watering your lawn, even if it’s turned brown in the heat. Grass is hardy, and will bounce right back when the rain returns later in the year.