Visit the wide range of gardens in Shakespeare Country and enjoy a host of exciting events throughout the year. From recreated Elizabethan Gardens, restored Victorian Gardens, exclusive garden tours with renowned gardeners to outdoor plays, garden exhibitions, trails and live music, there is plenty to see and do. Immerse yourself in the delights of landscaped, cottage, exotic and herbal gardens through the changing seasons, taking in an abundance of scents and colours as you explore the charming gardens of Shakespeare Country.
Visit the most romantic of the Shakespeare Houses, where William courted his future wife at her family home.
Anne Hathaway's Cottage features award winning gardens, traditional orchards, a Woodland Walk, Sculpture Trail and an independent tearoom.
From 28 May - 5 June visitors can enjoy Nature Detective activities in the Woodland Walk whilst from late June until August the stunning Sweet Pea Festival takes place.
Visitors can admire the colour and scent of both traditional and new varieties of Sweet Peas in the beautiful Cottage gardens.
The magnificent Elizabethan Garden at Kenilworth Castle is now in its 3rd year of opening and looks as delightful as when it was first launched in May 2009. For more than 400 years, the garden was lost to the world but 3 years ago it was re-created for all to enjoy once more. Magnificent carved arbours; a bejewelled aviary; planting abundant in colour, perfume and fruits and an 18-foot-high fountain carved from dazzling Carrara marble are just some of the glories that make the Castle's latest addition the most complete picture of an Elizabethan garden anywhere in the world.
This garden is now an established feature of one of the greatest castle ruins in England and a must see for all garden lovers, history enthusiasts and those that just enjoy a great day out.
The 16 restored gardens at Hill Close Gardens in Warwick are full of surprises from brick summerhouses to plants displayed in special theatres and a fine collection of period garden tools. During the year visitors can see Victorian species of daffodils, blossom on 80 different fruit trees, herbaceous borders and tender plants housed in a glasshouse, plus enjoy teas in the "green" centre and buy plants, produce and gifts. Children can enjoy trails and a special children's garden and summerhouse.
Special events include the Very Hungry Caterpillar on 2 June and the Scarecrow Workshop on 4 August. Adults can take part in guided gardener's walks on the second Friday of the month plus talks on Tuesday evenings about environmental gardening, the scented garden and summer maintenance. Visitors can picnic and enjoy songs from opera and musicals on 21 June. On 9 & 10 July the gardens will be open for free as part of a Warwick Open Gardens weekend with free guided tours. A Victorian weekend takes place on 6 & 7 August with re-enactors playing croquet on the lawns and stories being told about the original owners of the garden plots. Autumn events include an Aster Weekend from 23 - 25 September and the highlight of the year - Apple Day on 16 October with apple tasting, country craft stalls and activities for all the family.
Wander around two garden-themed exhibitions at Compton Verney this summer. ‘Stanley Spencer and the English Garden' and ‘Capability Brown and the landscapes of Middle England', both run from 25 June - 2 October.
Set in its own ‘Capability' Brown landscape, Compton Verney is the ideal location for the first-ever exhibition about internationally-renowned landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability' Brown. This exhibition presents a series of case studies of ‘Capability' Brown landscapes from the Midlands.
Compton Verney's unique blend of art expertise, Georgian architecture and historic landscape makes it the ideal setting for an important exhibition on one of Britain's best-loved artists: Sir Stanley Spencer. This exhibition looks at the development of the countryside and the confrontation between the natural environment and man-made structures.
Children will love to explore and hide in the new willow tunnels. From June, artist den-maker in residence Laura Ellen Bacon will create unique dens using traditional willow-weaving.
Nestled in the Cotswolds, Hidcote Manor Garden is an inspirational garden for all seasons. Discover rare shrubs and trees, herbaceous borders and unusual plants from around the world.
The garden changes in harmony with the seasons, from vibrant spring bulbs to autumn's spectacular Red Border.
Enjoy a performance of ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream' on Thursday 16 June. Bring along a picnic or book a theatre supper as you enter into the world of Shakespeare.
Or take in a performance of ‘Pinocchio' on Saturday 9 July when Hidcote presents this year's family classic.
Enjoy an exclusive evening tour with Head Gardener Glyn Jones as he tells the story of its creator and reveals the secrets behind this enchanting garden on Friday 29 July at the Head Gardener's Private Evening Tour with Supper.
Although Ragley's 400 acres of parkland were designed by Lancelot ‘Capability' Brown during the 18th Century, little is known about the gardens prior to 1873 when Victorian garden designer Robert Marnock created a formal flower garden intended to show off plants discovered in the new world. This area of the garden is now a modern Rose Garden, completed in 2009, with the new design based around diversity by taking away the majority of the grass and planting trees, shrubs and perennials to encourage insects.
This naturalistic approach is demonstrated throughout the Gardens which provide colour and interest throughout the year with areas such as a Spring Bulb Bank, Prairie Garden and Alpine Garden.
Other attractions at Ragley include a Woodland Walk, which takes visitors around the surrounding Parkland and provides some wonderful views of the countryside, a collection of 19th Century Carriages housed in the Stables and, of course, the Palladian House itself.
One of only 8 gardens designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, a recognised authority on the planning of the English formal garden, Sulgrave Manor boasts lawns, flower borders, a rose garden and orchard. It is likely that there was an orchard on this site since the 16th century and today it displays a variety of English apple trees including an ancient Loddington described by Country Life magazine a few years ago as one of the top ten trees to see!
Two years ago the award winning John Washington Garden was created to show a typical garden from the time of the early settlers in Virginia; tobacco drying and sumptuous custard marrows and pumpkins can be seen in the appropriate season.
The National Herb Society maintains a garden of culinary and medicinal herbs and in the children's herb garden the deadly mandrake can be seen growing.
The National Herb Centre has 6 specially designed demonstration herb gardens to show visitors how to make the most of herbs in the garden including ideas for encouraging wildlife, growing edible herbs and a garden inspired by the Roman use of herbs.
Discover what herbs to grow and when; pick up tips on composts, container types and maintenance throughout the year at the Kitchen Door Herb Workshop on 14 May. Learn the techniques and materials for natural dyeing with herbal plants at ‘An introduction to dye plants and their uses' on 30 July.