I hate camping. I don’t see the point of voluntarily depriving yourself of four walls and a roof, when there are perfectly serviceable buildings nearby. So, when the opportunity arose to take my husband and two small children on our first-ever glamping holiday, I was intrigued to see whether I could be converted. And if anything was going to convince me, a tent with proper beds, a flushing toilet and a kitchen, in the magnificent setting of the Cheddar Gorge, was going to be it.
We chose Cheddar because it has something to keep everyone happy on holiday. There’s an embarassment of wonderful gardens to visit in the area, including Hestercombe, Hauser & Wirth, East Lambrook Manor Gardens and many more. Cheddar Gorge snakes its way through the Mendip Hills and is rightly an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – full of limestone cliffs and rolling hills dotted with sheep – it’s the quintessential English countryside at its most picturesque.
You’re only a half-hour drive from the beach at Weston-super-Mare and the caves at Cheddar and Wookey Hole have lots to entertain kids. My children are too young for the adventure caving at Cheddar, but they were genuinely awe-struck during our tour of the caves at Wookey Hole – they loved the coloured lights, the rope bridges and the cave full of maturing cheese – plus the giant dinosaurs and softplay when you come out!
But tellingly, the absolute highlight of the trip for both my children was the tour of the farm in a tractor’s trailer. The tour was quite long, it was pouring with rain, and there was lots of information for the adults about the landscape, ancient discoveries in the limestone caves and farming practices, but my two and four-year-old loved every minute, waving to the cows
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When you go to the Philadelphia Flower Show, it helps to take along the right attitude. If seeing gorgeous, high concept gardens full of the most fashionable flowers makes you feel insecure, then take yourself elsewhere. If you need a massive dose of color, fragrance, humidity, and horticultural inspiration, then the Philadelphia Flower Show will be perfect for you. On my calendar, it officially marks the end of winter. It also reminds me of everything that a garden can be—provided you have a forklift, a crew of ten, at least $20,000 and the ability to make crocuses, roses and hydrangeas all bloom simultaneously.
Often, these are timeless items that have truly stood the test of time, but there’s also room for innovations that have transformed the way we garden – battery-powered tools that have done away with electric cables and noisy, smelly two-stroke fuel, for example. We asked the country’s top head gardeners which tools they couldn’t contemplate gardening without.
In the ever-evolving tapestry of horticulture, 2024 brings forth a new chapter as gardens undergo a transformative journey guided by the latest trends. From the integration of nature into outdoor spaces to the tech-savvy approaches that are revolutionizing horticulture, this year's garden landscape is a canvas of innovation and sustainability. Join us as we delve into the heart of these trends and explore how they are changing the way we imagine, cultivate and experience our gardens. Step into a world where sustainability meets aesthetic expression, where technology blends with the natural, and where each garden becomes a unique testament to the creativity and conscientiousness of its caretaker. Welcome to the garden trends of 2024 – a celebration of greenery, diversity and the limitless possibilities that bloom in the outdoors.
For gardeners across the globe, English gardens are renowned. Their reputation for being the most romantic, beautifully planted and idyllic spaces a gardener could hope for has spread far and wide. But how do you define a quintessentially English garden? Say the words and the mind immediately conjures up certain images: arbours and pergolas dripping with rambling roses; herbaceous borders with sky-blue spires of delphiniums, York-stone paving and clipped yew hedges. There are some features that no self-respecting English garden should be without, the essential elements that make the country’s gardens so iconic – here are our must-haves for that dreamy English garden look.
Away from the Show Gardens on Main Avenue, the Sanctuary Gardens offer plenty of inspiration and often on a more achievable scale. A garden that honours 200 years of the National Gallery, a family space that can bounce back from heavy rainfall, and a sensory haven that supports the emotional wellbeing for children undergoing cancer treatment, feature in 2024’s line up.
The All About Plants category debuted in the Great Pavilion at RHS Chelsea 2022. This year, six gardens supported by Project Giving Back and designed in collaboration with a UK charity, will be on display. A grief garden, a skate park with a focus on edible planting, and a vibrant design that champions good gut health are just a snapshot of the gardens putting plants at the forefront of the design and keeping hard landscape at a minimum.
Lately, I have noticed that the mail-order garden supply catalogs are full of Asian-themed garden accessories such as pots, traditional bamboo fences, and stone lanterns. This seems to go along with the trend toward Asian-inspired minimalism in home décor. In California and the Pacific Northwest, traditional Asian and Asian-inspired gardens have been popular for years. Can a national vogue for Chinese and Japanese gardens be far behind?
The news has been awash with UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson’s issues in relation to the badger cull. There has been fierce opposition to this issue. No one seems certain whether this strategy will help make a positive impact on the reduction of bovine tuberculosis in cattle. With fierce protests and ongoing issues yet to be resolved, it seems this is far from over.
The Main Avenue of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the heart of the iconic event. An extraordinary opportunity for talented newcomers and experienced designers alike to showcase innovation, creativity and the transformative power of a garden space in the heart of the city and watched by an audience of millions. Tom Massey is back after his 2023 Chelsea Flower Show success, this year partnering with Je Ahn, and familiar faces Ann-Marie Powell, Matthew Childs, Tom Stewart-Smith and Robert Myers are designing show gardens supported by Project Giving Back.
Discover a gardening haven at diygarden.cc. Get inspired with our expert tips, DIY projects, and innovative ideas to create a beautiful and thriving garden. From plant care to landscape design, our articles, guides, and videos have you covered. Join our community of passionate gardeners and share your success stories. Find tranquility and harmony with nature as you nurture your garden. Let us be your guide on this rewarding journey.
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