It's National Gardening Week 26 April to 2 May, so what better time to announce the welcome news that the gardens at Blenheim Palace are now open for business and taking bookings.
This year the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site has also created a series of outdoor route options for visitors to explore as well as a new audio guide for the formal gardens, downloadable for free onto any smartphone.
Visitors are being promised a magical mix of ancient woodland, lakes, formal gardens and ‘Capability’ Brown-landscaped parkland.
Created over the centuries by esteemed garden designers such as Henry Wise and Achille Duchêne, the formal gardens reflect a journey through the horticultural styles of the ages. These include the majestic Water Terraces, the Duke's Private Italian Garden, the tranquil Secret Garden with all of its hidden treasures, and the beautifully delicate Rose Garden.
Meanwhile informal parkland around the estate is a perfect destination for a relaxing family day out with a number of excellent walks, perfect for spotting the array of wildlife and seeing the beautiful landscape.
We're anticipating the same kind of rush for tickets that overwhelmed the opening of Buckingham Palace earlier this month, so do remember that you need to book soon in order to guarantee your place.
The famous Rose Garden blooms fully in June so – fingers crossed – you'll be in plenty of time to see its circular walk, arched over by slender hoops supporting climbing roses, varieties being Albertine and Iceberg.
PLUS We're delighted that the Blenheim Palace Flower Show makes a welcome return this summer – 25 to 27 June.
Visitors can enjoy garden talks with experts and enthusiasts, fabulous food and drink as well as more than 300 exhibitors, an outdoor ‘floral street’ and live entertainment throughout the weekend.
A riot of colour, fragrance and weird and wonderful plants, the 20,000 square foot Grand Floral Pavilion forms the centrepiece of the Show and features the UK’s finest nurseries and growers giving expert advice and gardening ideas.
“It’s fantastic to be back at Blenheim, it’s the perfect place to stage a flower show,” said Mig Kimpton, horticultural curator for the Blenheim Palace Flower Show. “I enjoy working within the stunning estate and engaging with all the plantsmen and all our visitors – especially having had a year off!” he added.
This year’s show features a series of new additions including the Floral Street; a newly created area that will see some new exhibitors display their plants in a unique way. The area will be creatively decorated and the perfect place to explore and linger as you decide which plants to buy.
Plantsmen and experts will be on hand to give tips and advice on all gardening issues, and visitors will be able to purchase plants from their nurseries directly at the show.
How to visit Blenheim Palace Gardens and the Blenheim Palace Flower Show
For more information on visiting the gardens head to blenheimpalace.com. Please note that pre-booking before your journey is essential.
For more information on the Blenheim Palace Flower Show head here.
Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest home and entertainment brands in the world. He is a serial house-renovator and home improvement expert, taking on everything from interior design and DIY to landscape gardening and garden design.
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