It’s the time of year when the flowers are in full bloom and the weather is on our side, so it makes for the perfect excuse to explore some of the Isle of Wight’s stunning gardens…
The former home of Alfred, Lord Tennyson has undergone an extensive renovation project over the last five years. Bringing the home back to its former glory, this has now extended to the gardens that surround the imposing property. Wander in the footsteps of the Poet Laureate and take in a multitude of flowers, fruits and vegetables. This garden would have worked hard to feed the Tennyson family and the workers.
Look out for the sundial in the garden, crafted by Mary Seton Watts, wife of Victorian painter, George Frederic Watts. At only £3 for entry (to the garden only), this has got to be one of the best bargains on the Island.
Possibly the most famous garden on the Isle of Wight, Ventnor Botanic Garden makes the most of its positioning and the unique microclimate of the Island, at its most notable in Ventnor. Here you can wander around gardens which are split into geographical locations, including the South Africa Terrace, Japanese Gardens and the New Zealand Gardens. Giant palms and echiums are the stars of the show, as well as the beautiful carved fallen tree. There is a restaurant and café on site, as well plant sales where you can buy a variety of plants and seed including the garden’s own hybrid agapanthus.
Run by the National Trust, Mottistone Manor was first mentioned in Domesday Book in 1086. The Manor as it stands today was created during the 15th and 16th centuries, although the stunning gardens are much younger. Initially created in the 1960s, the National Trust’s team of gardeners have built upon the original design to create a varied Mediterranean-style planting scheme, making the most of its southerly location. Discover the organic kitchen garden, a traditional tea garden, rose garden and olive grove. There is a plant sale area and pretty on-site café.
The Isle of Wight in miniature, The Model Village in Godshill is an RHS Partner Garden. Set inside two acres of beautifully landscaped and artistically manicured gardens, you will find a huge array of ornamental trees and shrubs, many of which have been pruned in a Japanese sculpting style known as ‘niwaki’. All created by a single full-time gardener, Fred, who has become synonymous with the garden and Godshill, this is a true must-visit.
Visit both Osborne and Carisbrooke Castle for glorious gardens. Osborne Garden’s are where the Royal Family would have spent time together, walking, playing and growing. There are acres of sweeping landscapes, walled gardens and blooming terraces to take in. Find trained fruit trees springing into flower and wonderful summer bedding schemes that set off the magnificent Italianate house with its lower walls covered in myrtle and magnolias.
The Princess Beatrice Garden at Carisbrooke was created in 2009 by award-winning Chris Beardshaw. Full of period features including a fountain, formal borders and a colour scheme that echos Princess Beatrice’s crest of blue, red and gold.
Explore this romantic ruin of a house and it’s landscaped gardens, created by the celebrated Capability Brown. There are 11 acres of grounds to explore, designed to bowl down and emphasise the former grandeur of this home, which was the seat of the Worsley family and once the grandest house on the Isle of Wight. In 1779, Capability Brown added a serpentine drive and parkland plantations. The property is free to enter and managed by English Heritage.