Gardens Illustrated
Farringford House

June gardens to visit

Published: May 31, 2022 at 10:00 am
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Gardener Tom Brown recommends the best gardens to visit in June to see their plants in full flower

Here Tom Brown picks the gardens that will be at their best this month. Don't miss our choices of the best plants for June, what to sow this month and the gardening jobs for June.

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Gardens to visit in June 2022

Ventnor Botanic Garden

Ventnor Botanical Garden
The medicinal garden at Ventnor

Ventnor Botanic Garden is one of the first gardens I worked in, and remains one of my favourite places to visit. Situated on the south coast of the Isle of Wight, with an enviable Gulf Stream climate and sheltered from the wind, this garden rarely gets a frost and the plant collections are superb.

Storm damage in 1987 provided an opportunity for replanting, which the then curator, Simon Goodenough, set about with energy and vision. Some of the subsequent plantings from around the world are now beginning to reach maturity.

Much of the garden has a Mediterranean ‘wild garden’ feel and highlights include some of the oldest Trachycarpus fortunei in the country and forests of Echium wildpretii and Echium pininana, all hybridising and naturalising in a wild garden setting. This spectacle is at its best from the end of June into July.

The garden has been curated by Chris Kidd since 2011, who previously worked under Simon, and with the new appointment of head gardener Michelle Cain this charming garden has an exiting period ahead of it.

Undercliff Drive, Ventnor, Isle of Wight PO38 1UL. Tel 01983 855397, botanic.co.uk

Farringford House

Farringford House

Another beautiful garden on the Isle of Wight is Farringford House, the former home of the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

The garden had become quite dilapidated until the current owners bought the property and employed Ellen and Alistair Penstone-Smith in 2017 to restore and develop it. The biggest challenge has been the two-acre walled garden, which has been transformed to a paradise planted with vegetables, fruit and ornamentals.

The design respects the heritage of the site, yet is progressive and exciting. Each time I visit, I learn something new. Open from April to October but June is a lovely time to see the collection of old-fashioned roses.

Bedbury Lane, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight PO40 9PE. Tel 01983 752500, farringford.co.uk

High Beeches

High Beeches

High Beeches is quite close to Gravetye with a charm of its own and packed with treasures. The stunning wildflower meadows are some of the best in the area, and the beautiful water gardens and woodland plantings are always an inspiration, with mouth-watering specimen trees at every corner.

It was a former home of the Loder family, with the heart of the garden created by Colonel Giles Loder in the early 1900s (at the same time as the family was developing the gardens at Wakehurst and Leonardslee in West Sussex).

In 1943, the manor house was destroyed by a British bomber that crashed while returning from a raid. Giles survived and moved next door to continue gardening the site until his death in 1967. The garden was then bought by Edward and Anne Boscawen, who avidly collected and grew many new trees from seed.

Today the garden is managed by their daughter Sarah and her team, who continue to care for this beautiful landscape that has been so well gardened for many generations.

The garden is glorious at any time of year, but one of the highlights is early June when stands of Loderi Group rhododendrons flower alongside carpets of orchids in the meadows.

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High Beeches Lane, Handcross, West Sussex RH17 6HQ. Tel 01444 400589, highbeeches.com

Authors

As head gardener at West Dean College in West Sussex, Tom Brown has an avid enthusiasm for great, garden-worthy plants. Tom is also an RHS Show Judge and Herbaceous Committee Member.

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