In January 1895 ago the National Trust was formed by three remarkable people: Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley. They were united by their love of nature and history and wanted to protect places for the enjoyment of future generations.
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Fast-forward 125 years and the National Trust is one of our most-loved institutions. It looks after over 500 historic places and 250,000 hectares of countryside and connects over 26.9 million people every year with beautiful spaces.
To mark the anniversary, we asked Gardens Illustrated readers to choose their favourite National Trust garden. There were a flurry of responses over the twelve days we ran the poll and the three winners were three of the Trust’s most beautiful gardens. Scroll down to discover the winners, and let us take you through a few others which were strong favourites.
Popular outsiders included the beautiful Cotehele in Cornwall, a Tudor house with a mill, with gardens that stretch down to the River Tamar. The gardens themselves are listed as Grade II on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.
But the three winners were below:
1st place: Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Michelle Cain is head gardener at the space, don’t miss her in our January issue of Gardens Illustrated, and she looks after its remarkable roses, considered to be one of the world’s best collections. Read more about the roses here. Sissinghurst Castle Garden is open throughout the year.
2nd place: Hidcote Manor Garden
Located in Gloucestershire, Hidcote is one of the most well known arts and crafts gardens in the country. Created by American Lawrence Johnson, who had moved to Britain with his mother Gertrude Winthrop, who bought the manor in 1907. Johnson was influenced by the work of Alfred Parsons and Gertrude Jekyll and the garden’s various ‘rooms’ are created with many hedges, hornbeams, yews and walls.
Hidcote is open on weekends until 17 February, when it is open throughout the week until the beginning of November.