Cicero once remarked that, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need”. However, in the case of these properties which boast some of the most impressive gardens in the UK, a library mightn’t be necessary. If you have a particularly green thumb and adore greenery, one of these properties may be your dream house…
1. Chelsea Barracks, Belgravia
For the first time ever, the former Chelsea Army Barracks will be made open to the public opening to reveal its first two beautiful and bountiful completed garden squares, just in time for the Chelsea Flower Show! Billing itself as the most coveted 12.8 acres in the world, we’d be hard pressed to disagree. In the heart of illustrious Belgravia, the residences are expectedly glamorous in architecture, and interiors combine British style with timeless elegance. The townhouses are an especially exquisite reimagination of classic Georgian architecture.
2. Northwick Park, Cotswolds
Nowhere says garden glory quite like the Cotswolds. Long a destination for weary city dwellers to escape the smog, more and more this haven of nature has become grounds for a second home – and Northwick Park is one of the best. An imposing Grade-I listed Jacobean building once frequented by Sir Winston Churchill, the stunning interiors are absurdly not the major appeal here – which just goes to show how special the grounds are. Comprised of immaculately maintained formal gardens, a courtyard, croquet lawn, rose garden complete with fountain and surrounding deer park; charming doesn’t begin to cover it.
3. Water Lily House, Avignon
A natural idyll situated in Provence, Water Lily House is quintessentially French; utterly romantic, it’s the exact image conjured when we think of summer vacations in the south of France. Shockingly the world-renowned gardens manage to outshine even the house itself. Sprawling across the property, its vast grounds are breathtakingly enchanting, boasting formal landscaped gardens, a swimming pool reached through a lavender pathway, a playground and treehouse for the little ones. The outbuilding has been converted into a wonderful indoor dining area with Sonos speakers installed, where you can feast with friends and family amidst picture-perfect bucolic surroundings.
4. Penson Farm, Devon
Positioned amidst 40 acres of grounds with woodland and river access with fishing rights, this Grade-II listed farmhouse is a true immersion in nature. A striking juxtaposition against pastoral settings, Penson Farm includes a bold, modern extension featuring fully retractable floor to ceiling windows that look out onto the property’s lake, rolling hills and beyond – not a bad backdrop for a weekday breakfast.
5. Portsdown Lodge, Hampshire
Perched proudly atop Portsdown Hill, Portsdown Lodge offers commanding views over Portchester Castle, Portsmouth Harbour, the Solent and Isle of Wight – all in sight from the house’s largely glass exterior which make every room a vantage point. However, you needn’t look so far to find impressive landscapes. Extending to 0.41 of an acre, the landscaped grounds include spectacular gardens, a heated outdoor swimming pool and an al fresco dining area that will definitely come in handy in the warmer months.
6. Cheyne Place, Chelsea
Cheyne Place is proof that you can live in central London without compromising on beautiful garden space. The 8 bedroom house boasts an expansive 44′ private garden ideal for garden parties in autumn, candle lit dinners in the summer and providing year-round access to a rare green space in the middle of the city. Beyond the garden, Cheyne Place also offers glorious southerly views over River Thames and Battersea Park from its roof terrace.
7. Castelnau, Barnes
A double-fronted detached villa on Castelnau Road, this property is one of the most impressive and covetable in Barnes. To the rear you’ll find an open-plan kitchen perfect for family living, with two sets of bi-folding doors which open onto the stunning garden. Designed by acclaimed landscaper Dan Pearson, the garden extends to 112 and features a generous patio area for summer barbecues and al fresco entertaining. Past the mature florae and shrubbery, you’ll happen upon a charming terracotta archway that in turn leads you to a sunny and secluded lawned space, the perfect setting for an afternoon read or a spot of peace and quiet.
8. Summertown Villa, Oxford
Aptly named, Summertown Villa makes it seem like our favourite season year-round. Standing in 1.87 acres of beautiful mature gardens, Summertown Villa boasts unusually vast grounds for central Oxford – but we’re not complaining. Imacculately kept and sheltered by mature trees, the gardens are delightfully quiet and feature two pretty ponds worthy of a Wordsworth poem.
9. Old Came Rectory, Dorchester
Built in the 1830s, this historic Grade-II listed thatched rectory has undergone a loving and sensitive restoration which has seen it transformed into a beautiful home fit for modern living. Historic appeal aside, the property’s gardens are enough to have us in awe. Comprised of a stunning walled knot garden, summer house, rose tunnel and central water lily pond, this is Jane Austen territory.
10. Burgate House, Surrey
Although boasting beautiful interiors, Burgate House’s real pièce de résistance is beyond its Queen Anne facade. Gardens and grounds surround the property with a wealth of mature shrubs and plants, including the original Gertrude Jekyll designed gardens that were meticulously planned and feature ornate stone columns, a sunken terrace and a lawned area. Burgate House’s formal gardens open onto a walled paddock and wild flower meadow (ideal for a pony if you happen to have one). Strawberry trees, chestnuts groves, daffodils, and rhododendron; the gardens positively burst with colour come spring.
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