There are many beautiful gardens in Essex, and spring is one of the best times of the year to visit them. As spring has been so cold this year, and every thing is so late coming into bloom, it will be fascinating to see how nature catches up over the next few weeks.
Three gardens that have been rescued and brought back to life in Essex are Marks Hall Arboretum and Garden, the Gardens of Easton Lodge and Copped Halll in Epping Forest. The gardens are all at very different stages of restoration. We’ve visited all three gardens many times and have found them all inspiring, even if they are on a slightly grander scale than our own garden.
Whilst visiting Copped Hall, if their opening hours coincide, you could take the opportunity to visit the Gibberd Garden in nearby Harlow, a really unusual garden that is also being restored.
A garden that truly inspires visitors is the famous Beth Chatto Garden in Elmstead Market. Beth Chatto is one of the most eminent gardeners in the country, and her beautiful garden is a delight in all seasons, but spring is a particularly beautiful time, when there are daffodils, bluebells and the strangely named skunk cabbage to admire amongst all the other plants. It will be interesting to see what the famous dry garden looks like after the cold winter.
A smaller garden not far from Beth Chatto’s is Green Island Garden in Ardleigh which has been designed by its owner Fiona Edmond. If you have time you could visit the two gardens on the same day.
Throughout the year many privately owned historic houses are opened to the public through the Invitation to View scheme. We’ve listed all the Essex houses that are taking part in the scheme. Visiting the houses as part of the scheme is the only way to see many of these houses as they are still very much family homes.