Gardens and plants that WOW now!


Autumn is here and whilst this can spell the end of many an outdoor attraction in the UK, it offers even more reasons to visit Barnsdale Gardens!  The heralding in of October brings with it rich hues of amber and gold in the 38 individually designed gardens.  We asked Nick Hamilton, the owner of the gardens located in the East Midlands, for his top tips for a visit to Barnsdale for a true autumnal treat! 

The Winter Border was originally a small area designed by Geoff Hamilton and planted with the help of Adrian Bloom; this border was redeveloped during 2016 and opened by Carol Klein on 9th August to mark the 20th year since Geoff’s untimely death as well as highlighting how the garden has moved on in that time.  It is looking wonderful at the moment with blooming interest from Japanese Anemones, Astrantia, Mahonia nitida ‘Cabaret’, Sedum, Geranium, Malus ‘Sun Rival’ fruits and leaf colour of Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ and Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’.

The Country Paradise Garden is an example from Geoff Hamilton’s Paradise Gardens television series. This garden can be built relatively cheaply to give the feel of a woodland glade and wildflower meadow to any garden in any situation. It is beginning to look great with the leaves of the Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ beginning to take on their autumn hues, as is the Cercidiphyllum japonicum where you get lovely golden leaf colour and the added bonus of a sweet toffee smell, as the leaves turn. There is also interest from Rudbeckia, Achillea and the autumn foliage of Epimedium.  

Versailles…Geoff Hamilton gave this vista the name of Versailles because it reminded him of the formality and layout of Louis XIV’s famous gardens at the Palais de Versailles just outside of Paris. At this time of year it’s flowers of Asters, Alstroemeria, annual Cosmos, Dahlia and Rudbeckia, all look superb and the ornamental value is enhanced by the berries of Phytolacca and Callicarpa and structure of Acanthus.

The Rose Garden was once an overgrown plot, but now showcases more than fifty varieties of roses.  There are still a good number of Roses flowering, as well as Asters, Japanese Anemones and Aconitum.  The borders around each of the gardens, as well as linking borders also have an abundance of flower and leaf colour, as well as berries and fruits.

Photo credit Steve Hamilton

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