The Nation’s Favourite Gardens – Winners Announced

Winning garden

Thousands of you voted for your favourite gardens from our shortlist of 30 of the country’s finest, all of which open for the National Garden Scheme. Now we can reveal the winners of 2019’s Nation’s Favourite Gardens competition run by The English Garden in partnership with the National Garden Scheme and supported by Viking.

There’s a winner for each of the scheme’s six regions, plus one champion of champions with the most votes overall. Discover these six special and most deserving gardens and find out about the gardeners who have worked to create these beautiful spaces and generously open them for the benefit of the nursing and caring charities the National Garden Scheme supports.

Overall Winner:
Coton Manor

We are delighted to announce that the Nation’s Favourite Garden is Coton Manor, Northamptonshire. Congratulations to deserving owners Ian and Susie Pasley-Tyler and all of their gardeners and volunteers who work so hard to create a garden that people love to visit. This wonderful garden has opened for the National Garden Scheme for the last 50 years, 30 of those with Ian and Susie.

Save the date: In 2020, the gardens will open on Sunday 13th September, 12pm – 5.50pm, combined entry with Ravenswood.

Credit: Joe Oldaker

South East
Kew Green Gardens, London

The National Garden Scheme’s ‘Garden Visitor’s Handbook’ is chock full of gardens that open to visitors as groups, one entry ticket giving access to lots of beautiful gardens. This group of gardens, running down to the River Thames from leafy Kew Green is “absolutely unique”, says National Garden Scheme County Organiser for London, Penny Snell. The group comprises five like-minded neighbours, all with different gardens but the common aim of supporting the scheme. “It’s such a community effort,” says Penny. “They are all just lovely to be in. Gentle English gardens that are an absolute joy to visit.”

Save the date: In 2020, the gardens will open on the afternoon of the 24th May with an evening opening on 31st May.

South West
Horatio’s Garden, Wiltshire

The first Horatio’s garden at Salisbury Hospital’s Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre was designed by the award-winning Cleve West and went on to win several design award accolades. But it has gone on to win an even bigger place in the hearts of those who spend time in it, whether that’s patients, who often face a long stay at the centre, or friends and family visiting them. It’s a beautiful sanctuary giving patients contact with the outdoor world and helping their rehabilitation. A series of curving limestone walls echoes the spine and doubles as seating, while planting includes grasses, aromatic herbs and textural perennials.

Save the date: In 2020, this fabulous garden will open from 1pm-4pm on Sunday 5th July.

The Manor House, Bedfordshire

Garden designer and author Kathy Brown and her husband Simon have lived at The Manor House since 1987. When they moved in, one removal lorry brought their furniture while another one was needed just to bring all their pots! Over the past 32 years they have gradually shaped and filled a series of garden rooms that reflect their wide-ranging passions and interests, from the literature of John Bunyan to the art of Mark Rothko and Matisse. Another influence is the couple’s fascination with all things Chinese, which inspired Simon to clip a sinuous yew hedge into a friendly Chinese dragon.

Save the date: the garden opens with the National Garden Scheme on Monday 25th May 2020.

Larch Cottage Nurseries, Cumbria

The hamlet of Melkinthorpe in Cumbria’s Eden Valley may be quiet, but our regional winner for the North, Larch Cottage Nurseries, is a hive of activity. It was established in the 1980s by its owner, Peter Stott, originally to supply plants for his landscaping work, but over the years has developed into a destination in its own right. Now as well as browsing plants for sale, visitors will find a romantic garden to browse for inspiration with Italianate walls and pillars draped in greenery. Meandering paths take in abundant borders and lead to a chapel, built from scratch by Peter for his wedding to his wife, Jo.

Save the date: The gardens open under the National Garden Scheme on Thursday 9th July, Thursday 13th August and Thursday 17th September (1pm-4pm)

Credit: Val Corbett

Coton Manor, Northamptonshire

It’s only once you’ve parked the car, crossed the quiet lane and headed through the stableyard that the gardens of Coton Manor are revealed, skilfully masterminded by Ian and Susie Pasley-Tyler on the land behind the warm honey-coloured manor house. The framework of the garden was originally laid out by Ian’s grandparents in the 1920s, but it was when Ian and Susie took over the house and garden 30 years ago that it began to take its present form: an evocative, exemplary English garden renowned for its sumptuous borders, constantly fine-tuned to provide colour and interest from spring to late summer.

Save the date: In 2020, the gardens will open on Sunday 13th September, 12pm – 5.50pm, combined entry with Ravenswood.

Wales & The Marches
Wollerton Old Hall, Shropshire

Wollerton Old Hall’s quintessential English garden has been lovingly created over the past 30 years by Lesley and John Jenkins, the pretty pink-painted and rose-festooned Tudor hall where they live setting the scene for the garden’s delights. It is laid out around a series of paths, creating rooms separated by hedges of yew and beech. Working out from the house, Lesley decided on the nature of each room and planting began in earnest, with ideas gleaned from other gardens – the hot-coloured Lanhydrock Garden acknowledges its inspiration – and gardeners, such as Rosemary Verey.

Save the date: The garden opens for the National Garden Scheme on Friday 15th May, 12pm-5pm

The view from the Sundial Garden to the Lanhydrock Garden at Wollerton Old Hall Gardens, Shropshire – photographed in August.

Thank you to everyone who voted for their favourite garden and we hope that you enjoy exploring more of our wonderful gardens in 2020. Plan ahead for the new season by pre-ordering your 2020 Garden Visitor’s Handbook  today by clicking here


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