Cheshire's Gorgeous gardens (with audio)
PUBLISHED: 23:44 07 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:30 20 February 2013
Whether you prefer a grand stately design, a wildflower garden or something modern and minimalist, the public gardens in and around Cheshire will delight you <br/>COMPILED BY STEPHANIE SOWDEN
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Quality from Quarry
The gardens of an old cotton mill from the Industrial Revolution may not sound like the place to be inspired by Mother Nature, but Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, near Wilmslow breaks the mould with its stunning riverside greenery. Created by the Mills founder, Samuel Greg in the 1790s, this eight-acre garden makes up for in beauty what it lacks in size. Following the trend of the late 18th century, the garden has impressive displays of rhododendron and other blooms, which can be viewed from the meandering paths and terraces. This garden has recently been brought back to its former glory and really provides an insight in the horticultural fashions of over 200 years ago.
Quarry Bank Mill and Gardens, Styal, Cheshire SK9 4LA
For details visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk or call 01625 445896
A sense of calm at Norton Priory
Excavated medieval ruins, a Georgian walled garden and a 600-year-old sandstone statue of St. Christopher, make for an interesting day out. Norton Priory is home to a noted collection of quince, with 20 different varieties on display. There is a sculpture trail to guide visitors through the woodland areas and walled gardens or your can relax at the rose walk with its ornamental borders.
Norton Priory Museum and Gardens, Tudor Road, Manor Park, Runcorn WA7 1SX
For details visit www.nortonpriory.org or call 01928 569895
Perfection at Peover
Enclosed by topiary hedges, the grounds of 1585 Peover Hall house the best of British blooms. It boasts a promenade lined with limes and yew hedges leading to a circular lawn accompanied by rose, white and pink gardens. Enjoy time by the lily pool, taking refuge in the cool shade of the summer house. The Hall itself also adds to the gardens allure, with its carved staircase, panelled walls and long gallery. Its role as home to Second World War General George S Patton, sees a display of the American flag. But do note, opening times are limited so check their website first.
Peover Hall, Rostherne, Knutsford WA15 6SW
For opening times, which are limited, visit www.gardenvisit.com/g/peov/htm
or call 01565 830395
Chusan palms, tulip trees and Chinese dogwoods are just some of the novel topiary to be found at Fletcher Moss gardens in Didsbury. Located in urban south Manchester, this botanical delight is a haven for city-dwellers looking for escape. The Green Flag Award gardens are organised against a south-facing slope with a rockery pond at the bottom, home to several terrapins and fish. Extending from the River Mersey to Stenner Woods, there are walks aplenty to satisfy everyone. Try the nature trail for a fun and easy way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens, Didsbury, M20 2SW
Admission is free and the gardens are open daily from dawn until dusk: www.manchester.gov.uk
or call 0161 998 2117
The charms of Bodnant Garden are nearer than you think. This National Trust property is only eight miles from Llandudno but once inside the grounds it feels a world away from any hustle and bustle. The garden has two parts: the upper garden around Bodnant Hall consists of terraced gardens and informal lawns shaded by trees, while the lower portion, known as the Dell is formed by the valley of the River Hiraethlyn and contains the Wild Garden. Efforts have been made to grow a wide range of interesting plants from around the world particularly China, North America, Europe and Japan that are suited to the Welsh climate and soil.
Bodnant Garden, Tal-y-Cafn, near Colwyn Bay, Conwy, LL28 5RE.
For details: 01492 650460
If seclusion and serenity are on your checklist for a relaxing summers day then be sure to frequent the tranquil grounds of the Bluebell Cottage Gardens. A wildflower meadow which peaks in midsummer makes for beautiful rustic and unaffected scenery. The propertys namesake, a two acre bluebell wood, offers an ideal day out for garden lovers and non-gardeners alike, but peak season for the bluebells is late April and May.
Bluebell Cottage Gardens, Lodge Lane, Dutton, Northwich, WA4 4HP
Closed Monday and Tuesdays. For details visit www.lodgelanenursery.co.uk or 01928 713718
Plants and planets
Nature rubs shoulders with technology at Jodrell Banks Granada Arboretum. The 35-acre site has 2,000 species of trees and shrubs and is home to national collections of crab apple and rowan trees. There is an educational arboretum and the grounds surrounding the world famous Lovell radio telescope, Jodrell Bank, provide a Solar System Trail and a Planet Tree exhibition.
Jodrell Bank Arboretum and Visitor Centre, Macclesfield, Cheshire.
For details: www.manchesher.ac.uk/joderellbank/viscen
or call 01477 571339
Also worth a visit
History is enclosed within the walled gardens at Combermere Abbey on the Cheshire/Shropshire border. The worlds only fruit maze, designed by Randoll Coate in 1993, is a picturesque way to explore the massive varieties of apples, pears, gooseberries and redcurrents. The Geometric Garden is another pulchritudinous delight.
Combermere Abbey, Whitchurch, Shropshire, SY13 4AJ. Visit www.combermereabbey.co.uk or call 01948 662880
Set in the rolling hills of the Pennines, Dunge Valley Rhododendron Garden is a feast for the eyes with waterfalls, ponds and bog gardens. www.dungevalley.co.uk or call 01663 733787
Almost as famous for its stunning plant collection as its exciting animals, Chester Zoological Gardens have won many horticultural awards. www.chesterzoo.org or call 01244 380 280
The historic Knot Garden with its medley of fruit trees that surround Britains most well-known Tudor House, Little Moreton Hall, near Congleton, is a delightful place to spend a summers afternoon. www.nationaltrust.org.uk or call 01260 272018
Gorge yourself on beauty at the award-winning Ness Botanic Gardens in Neston. Providing views across the Dee estuary to North Wales, Ness offers pine woods, an azalea walk and a wildflower meadow. www.nessgardens.liv.ac.uk or call 0151 3530123.
Tantalising Tatton A favourite weekend spot, Tatton Park in Knutsford, has Japanese and Italian gardens, an orangery and a deciduous maze to get lost in. Voted Number 1 garden in central England by readers of Gardeners World, Tatton is sure to delight. www.tattonpark.org.uk or call 01625 374400.