Category: Gardens we’ve visited

Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Boboli Gardens

Florence. A truly beautiful city packed with culture (and people!) and a garden from the book. So we had to pop along and visit it right?

The gardens stand behind the Palazzo Pitti and have a long history. They are also vast so we took a photo of the map to help us with our orientation.

Home to amazing sculptures, some were part of a modern exhibition, beautiful buildings and incredible architecture.

And the views out onto the landscape were just as pretty as everything inside.

Oh and we became statues ourselves for a moment……. We are the two on the left!

This last area of the garden was our favourite as it was more in keeping with a herbaceous border. Filled with Dahlias and other perennials.  Gav caught me taking this photo with my phone. I let him wield the big camera that day.

A lovely few hours spent in a very lovely Italian garden.

The Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Anyone who has been here a while knows that we love a trip to London so when my colleagues bought me afternoon tea at Kew Gardens as my leaving present we couldn’t have been more thrilled.

We wanted to visit in the summer to get the most from that world famous garden so went at the beginning of June. I’d been once before with my sister when my older niece turned sixteen…. she’s thirty two now! SO a revisit was almost like going for the first time.

We were not disappointed. In fact Gav was downright impressed. Here are a collection of photos from that afternoon.

The Palm House.

The rose garden was amazing. Here is Gav wandering onto one side of it. Above is Rosa ‘Lady Salisbury’.

Didn’t get the name of this one……. But is is so beautiful.

Rosa ‘Gentle Hermione’. Love how it fades with age.

Rosa ‘Wisley 2008’.

And Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’.

We meandered over to have our afternoon tea in The Botanical restaurant. It was delicious.

And then a general mooch about. There is so much to see you can’t do it all in a day so we headed to what interested us most.

They have a vegetable garden and also a very clever and interesting area set out in plant families. The photo above is the Euphorbiaceae bed. Some families have surprising members and it was an enlightening walk.

Some of the flowers had there muslin bags over them I’m guessing to protect the fertalised flowers. Ingenious yet pretty and it make you realise how much planning and looking after these kinds of gardens need.

The Rose Arbour.

Tomatoes.

The we went to climb up to the treetop walkway. Another clever idea.

And the view from the top was great. You can see the newly restored and recently re-opened Temperate House.

And before we left for the day we stopped inside that glasshouse.

Absolutely amazing place and we will be back again I’m sure. So worth a visit.

Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – The Alnwick Garden

I remember that this garden, on the outskirts of the pretty walled town of Alnwick in Northumberland, was originally famed for its water features. There are still a huge part of the garden but now the label attached should simply be a beautiful garden.

A trip here and lunch in the treehouse restaurant was a gift from my colleagues for my big birthday last year. Gav and I went in the summer of 2017 and even enjoyed a tour of the huge pump room that controls the impressive water fountain.

There were several distinct areas including a rose garden, poison garden and wonderful walled garden up on the hill. They also have a huge number of Cherry Trees and folk flock to see them blossom in the spring.

The garden up on the hill was my favourite full of interesting ideas beautiful water rills and pots overflowing with plants.

Love the teeny door within a door below.

Gav having a conversation with a frog….

We had beautiful weather and a lovely day all round and I would certainly go back again sometime.

** On a side note I forgot to include this garden on my list  so my total gardens now photographed from this book is now fifty two!

The click tick list – photograph 100 gardens – Borde Hill

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Another beautiful garden visited, photographed and crossed off the list.

Borde Hill Garden

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When we visited they had an exhibition of sculptures and the owl was one of my favourites.

It was a hot day so it was a good job we were allowed to take the Budster in with us. Below is the old potting shed. A derelict building now full up with plants and shrubs and little trees. Really loved the bricks against the greenery and that stone floor.

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Some exotic borders lushly planted.

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And roses galore complete with hidden arched seat.

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Sumptuous Italian garden with box hedges and planters all round a sunken pool. It gave us a cooler spot to sit a while and soak up the quiet beauty.

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Here’s another view of the pool from further back.

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An amazing long herbaceous border contained by that stone wall.

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A truly wonderful place full of little details and unusual features and a stunning house as a backdrop.

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Recommended if you are ever in East Sussex.

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Some links to other gardens we’ve visited – here, here, here and here. Also a 2014 list of the gardens we’ve seen so far.

The click tick List – Photograph 100 gardens – Painswick Rococo Garden

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We have a long weekend here in the UK. Gav and I will not be venturing on a visit to any gardens as we are too busy with our own but I thought it would be good to carry on the sharing of gardens we have visited that also count towards my goal of photographing 100 gardens from this book.

Painswick Rococo Garden

We visited this garden in March 2015 so were too early to enjoy the extensive kitchen garden but there was still lots of interesting things to see.

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Architecture plays a huge part in this place as there are at least four little buildings tucked around. All original structures from when the garden was made in the 1740 they are beautifully built and decorated.

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The pond is perfectly placed so it reflects the garden and makes all the buildings seem more impressive. That white structure which is referred to as an colonnade exedra was designed for people to talk and mingle and it is both strange and striking.

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There is also a sense of humour here with these giant conkers.

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And lovely carvings.

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And we even got to take the Buddles in with us.

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Overall a joy to wander around and of course to cross off the list .

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A note about the gardens we’ve visited and the click tick list.

Over the last twenty years Gav and I have been to visit many a garden. I am blogging about these visits rather too slowly but hopefully I’ll get there and have a catalogue of them all for reference and to share their beauty.

Since I drew up the click tick list we have concentrated on visiting gardens that appear in the book but there are plenty of gardens that are worth a visit that don’t appear within those pages. In this post I share where we have been (up to Feb 2014) and mention a few of the gardens not in the book.

The click tick list – Photograph 100 gardens – The Huntington, CA, USA

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What with one thing and another my great plans to share some of the gardens we have visited in my quest to photograph 100 gardens from this book have fallen by the wayside. But I’m here to put that right with another installment of floral delights.

The Huntington, Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, to give its full title, are in Pasadena, California and we visited last year on our US trip. The creator of this place has done an amazing job at combining architecture, artifacts and gardens into one pretty wonderful place.

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We concentrated on the gardens but did go into two of the art galleries and saw beautiful paintings.

In the Library we saw the first folio edition of Shakespeare’s collected plays, the Gutenberg Bible and the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales among other rare exhibits.

The gardens are split into several individual spaces including the Japanese garden, Rose garden and Desert garden. Each spectacular in their own way and they lead you gently through gallery building to another.

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They also serve ‘all you can eat’ afternoon tea in the building above. We had booked ahead to secure a spot for this delight. It was indeed a delight and I’m surprised we managed to continue our tour of the gardens what with our full tums!

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I had the macro/100mm lens on my camera for most of our time there and because of that I managed to get a couple of close up Bee shots.

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Worthy of a place in the book of gardens to see we really enjoyed our afternoon exploring this garden.

The click tick list – Photograph 100 Gardens – Sissinghurst

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One great way to cheer yourself up in the winter is to think about the gardening season to come. And I’m doing that but I also thought it would be good to share some of the gardens we have visited over the years.

And let’s not forget that all of the gardens go towards crossing off one of my list items too.

I thought we’d start this foray into gardens with one of the most famous.

Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens

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We have visited this amazing garden three times now the last visit was June 2015. We were away camping and late one day we decided to make the hours drive for a visit. The country roads took longer than we had expected which meant that we arrived late and only had about an hour before the garden closed.

As we had Buddy with us, who isn’t allowed in, we took our whistle stop tours alone. Me first, then Gav. So the downside was that we didn’t have much time but as you’ll see from the pictures, the up side was that we were virtually alone! In this garden that is a tricky feat to achieve.

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There is something for every aspect and everyone in this beautiful place. Meadows, formal areas, mixed borders, rose gardens, hot gardens and of course the famous white garden.

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To see the amazing rose arbor in full bloom you have to visit in June. When we went it was only just coming into bloom. But even without the roses the white garden is a stunner with formal brick paths, box hedging, quirky pots and such a vast array of white plants used so cleverly.

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I was interested to see that out of all the photographs Gav and I took, separately remember, we only duplicated one scene actually standing the exact same spot!

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You can tell who took which as he’s taller than me so gets a different angle on all those hedge tops but I was lucky enough to get a little of that golden evening light in my shot.

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They excel at everything here but one of the clever design features are the vistas that are incorporated into the garden.

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And playing with texture. Stone, rustic old brick, a wooden gate and a punch of hot pink.

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It is one of my favourites and if you ever get the chance, in June, or at anytime a visit is more than worthwhile.

The click tick list – update on the gardens we have visited

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As you know one of the quests on my list is to photograph 100 gardens from this book. I started to write about some of them and have posted a couple of visits here, but I wanted to have them all in a list so I know where we’ve been and I can make plans to cross off a few more.

Here are the ones we have been to so far.

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Quarryhill Botanical – California, USA
Filoli – California, USA (read about our visit here.)
Cornerstone Festival of Gardens – California, USA
San Francisco Botanical Gardens – California, USA
The J. Paul Getty Museum – California, USA
The Getty Villa – California, USA
Fairchild Botanical Gardens – Florida, USA (read about our visit here.)
Vizcaya Museum and Garden – Florida, USA (read about our visit here.)
Ca  d’Zan Mansion – Florida, USA (read about our visit here.)
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens – Florida, USA (read about our visit here.)
Edison and Ford Winter Estates – Florida, USA (read about our visit here.)
The Frick Gallery Garden – New York, USA
Central Park – New York, USA

Giverny – France
Vilandry – France

Cambo – Scotland
Kellie Castle – Scotland

Chirk Castle – Wales

England

Belsay Hall
Scampston Hall
Studley Royal Water Garden
RHS Harlow Carr
Harewood
York Gate Garden
Brodsworth hall
Chatsworth
Clumber Park
Biddulph Grange Garden
Upton House
Coton Manor Garden
Ickworth House (read about our visit here.)
Snowshill Manor
Hidcote Manor Garden
Audley End House
Sissinghurst Castle Garden (read about one of our visits here.)
Walmer Castle and Garden
RHS Garden Wisley
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Nymans Garden
Great Dixter
Wakehurst Place
Wrest park
The Manor, Hemmingford Grey (read about my visit here.)

That’s forty-three. Only fifty-seven to go then….

There are a couple of gardens I am sure we have been to but every time I look at the photos we have and try to tie them up with images of the gardens on the web I get really confused….. They are Waddeson Manor and Wimpole Hall.  Guess keeping records would have its benefits!

And still worthy of a visit but not in the 1001 book –

  • Mosely Old Hall
  • Coughton Court
  • The Courts
  • Nunnington
  • Calke Abbey
  • Benningborough
  • Little Moreton Hall

It’s good to get them all down in a list. Now to keep adding….

Click tick list – Photograph 100 gardens

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More Florida gardens. After Miami we headed up to Orlando to the house we had rented for the rest of our stay in Florida.  But as we were so close to three more gardens from the book Gav and I went on an overnight trip down the Gulf of Mexico coast to see them.

The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.

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Amazing views and amazing plants.

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The gardens hold a huge collection of orchids and also epiphytes. These are plants that grow on other plants but non-parasitically.

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They conjure up a prehistoric feel.

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There were some visitors from the nearby Hudson Bayou.

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I cannot resist a duck. Especially a baby one.

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Looks like the fish can’t resist either.

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We also found a great tea house, situated inside the gardens, serving samples of tea from all over the globe and the lady serving the tea that day was from England! We had a good old chat about what she was doing there and her love of Florida.

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Then we went for lunch and a friend joined us…….

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Eeeek!! We went into the cool air-conditioned cafe to escape the local wildlife.

And after a cool down we set off for another wander.

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What’s this?

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Yep. A coffee plant. Amazing!

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We made a whistle-stop visit to another garden listed which was part of the Ringling complex. The house and gardens are called Ca d’Zan.

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A very impressive house set in landscaped Italianate gardens.

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The next day we went to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates.

Here I am stood next to a statue of Edison. And those trees behind us are actually just one tree! A Banyan tree.

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The one here was planted in the 1920’s and is thought to be one of the largest in the continental USA. A sight to see the Banyan tree sends down tendrils that when they touch the surface of the soil become another trunk.

There were great views here too.

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Although the grounds are beautiful you can’t forget who owned and planted these gardens as they a dominated by a huge Ficus tree. Ford and Edison along with another neighbour of theirs were searching for a domestic rubber source. You wouldn’t be surprised to know that another friend of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford was Harvey Firestone.

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History and beautiful gardens and of course more ticked off the list.

Click tick list – Photograph 100 Gardens – Two Miami Gardens

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Here we are with an update to the list.

When we decided to tag along with my sister on their trip to Florida one of the first things Gav and I did was peruse the ‘1001 Gardens to visit before you die’ book to check out how many I could cross off. We were thrilled to find six potential places to visit.

First up were the two gardens near Miami. Here is the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden.

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It was such a hot day, weren’t they all? Yes. But wandering around a garden in the heat, even wearing my ridiculous hat, was a struggle for me and poor old Gav was fed up of me whingeing about half an hour into our visit.

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I think the quality and quantity of the photos suffered because it was so hot. Did I mention that?

Anyway we did wander and see some beautiful tropical plants and amazing views.

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The also have a butterfly house and we had a quick look inside.

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It was also Bee day at the garden and we brought back a delicious jar of avocado honey.

Then we hot  footed it (pun intended!) up the coast to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

On the drive through the outer suburbs of Miami we passed through some amazingly beautiful streets and neighbourhoods with tree-lined roads right up to gates, no pavements and the houses beyond, if you could see them at the end of the driveways, were huge and impressive.

Vizcaya is a complete contrast to the Fairchild gardens.

Built in 1910 it is mock Italianate with european style gardens.

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Set on the edge of Biscayne Bay it is serene yet dramatic in its setting. We did go into the house something Gav and I are not often interested in but it had to be done and was very interesting. Then out into the garden to seek out shade and grab some photos.

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Both these gardens were lovely but I did prefer Vizcaya. I think Botanical gardens are necessary and interesting but they are not my favourite. And the hard landscaping at Vizcaya elevated it to a whole other level it was really so well done.

I’ll have to count up but these tow must bring my total to about forty photographed from the book so far.