Best Gardens for Daffodils in England

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Compiled Feb 2011 by Debbie Templeton

Copyright 2011

Antony Woodland Garden, Cornwall - this is a 100-acre plantsman's garden of two distinct wooded areas: the Wilderness and Westdown, linked by the Garden Field, which abounds with daffodils. Open Mar 1-Oct 31. (01752 812364) www.plants.info/gardens/antony-woodland.htm.

Bradenham Hall, Thetford, Norfolk - go in spring, when the daffodils are out, and you are in for a stunning surprise. There is a rose-filled walled garden for the summer visitor and a collection of unusual trees, 800 varieties. (01362 687243) www.bradenhamhall.co.uk; Opens in April.

Coughton Court, Warwickshire - home to the Throckmorton daffodils and the only collection of its kind in Europe. The flowers look different from other daffodils and are late-flowering, making them a unique addition to the gardens here. The National Daffodil Society awarded a Gilt Medal for the outstanding display of daffodils (of which there are now over 400,000). Open March to Dec (01789 762435) www.coughtoncourt.co.uk.

Docton Mill, Devon - a delightful garden created around a picturesque working water mill with sensational naturalised daffodils and a bluebell woodland. Open Mar-Oct, daily, 10am-6pm. (01237 441369) www.doctonmill.co.uk.

Easton Walled Gardens, Lincolnshire - as this garden has been in the throes of restoration since 2002, there is always something new to see. Be sure to take in the fabulous displays of 15,000 daffodils followed by 5,000 tulips. (01476 530063) www.eastonwalledgardens.co.uk.

Exbury Gardens, Hampshire - early spring in this garden brings flowering cherries and carpets of daffodils. Open Mar-Nov 9, daily. (02380 891203) www.exbury.co.uk.

Felley Priory, Nottinghamshire - thousands of daffodils are among the seasonal attractions in this wonderful plantsman's garden of herbaceous borders, unusual shrubs and trees. Open year-round, Tue, Wed, Fri, 9am-12.30pm; Mar-Oct every 2nd & 4th Wed 9am-4pm, every 3rd Sun 11am-4pm. (01773 810230).

Hever Castle, Kent - the gardens of this 14th-century moated castle burst into spring colour with crocuses, daffodils, tulips and bluebells. Open Easter-Oct 31, daily, 10.45am-5pm. (01732 865224) www.hevercastle.co.uk.

Howick Hall, Northumberland - among 11,000 trees and shrubs the woodland garden is admired for its bulbs, including old varieties of daffodils, which flower until May in the woodland garden. Open Easter Sunday-Oct 31, daily, 12 noon-6pm (01665 577285) www.howickhallgardens.org.uk.

Marwood Hill, Devon - 80 magnolia hybrids are under planted with narcissi in early spring. Open Mar-Oct, daily, 9.30am-5.30pm. (01271 342528) www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk.

Nymans, West Sussex - this 20th-century garden is famed for its extraordinary collection of rare and important plants. In spring, camellias and magnolias are under planted with drifts of daffodils and grape hyacinths. Open Feb-Nov 2, Wed-Sun, 10am-5pm (01444 400321) www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans.

Parcevall Hall Gardens, Skyreholme, near Appletreewick in North Yorkshire. Once owned by Sir William Milner (1893-1960). He was a gentle giant who developed the gardens up until his death and enjoyed frequent visits from Queen Mary, his godmother. After Sir William's death the gardens declined, but in the mid 1980s a restoration program commenced. The gardens are now enjoying a vibrant renaissance having been returned to their former glory. The daffodil display in early April is said to be magnificent. Open daily from 1st April until 31st October between 10am-6pm. Tel 01756 720311 website: www.parcevallhallgardens.co.uk.

RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey - a wonderful garden all year round but be sure not to miss the alpine meadow in Spring where a dazzling display of hoop-petticoat narcissus will be in full bloom. Open year-round, daily. (01483 224234) www.rhs.org.uk.

Rydal Mount, Cumbria - a visit to William Wordsworth's home is a must for any daffodil lovers. The gardens have been preserved to be almost as they were when the poet was in residence and must be seen for the rhododendrons, bluebells and, of course, the daffodils. Open Mar-Oct, daily (01539 433002) www.rydalmount.co.uk.

Savill Garden, Berkshire - these Royal gardens consist of a series of woodland gardens are all under planted with carpets of bulbs. Don't miss the swathes of Narcissus bulbocodium. Open year-round, daily (01753 860222) www.theroyallandscape.co.uk.

Sheffield Park Garden, East Sussex - woodland and water make for an alluring combination in this fine landscape. A springtime visit is compulsory when the daffodils and bluebells are in bloom beneath a canopy of rhododendrons and azaleas. Call or see website for opening times. (01825 790231) www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sheffieldpark.

Sherwood, Devon - this 15-acre garden of two steep wooded valleys is not to be missed in springtime. There are swathes of wild daffodils and the garden holds National Collections of magnolia, Knap Hill azaleas and berberis. Open year-round, Sun, 2-5pm. (01392 851216).

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hampshire - one of our favourite gardens, our first daffodils were seen here on 31st January 2011. In 180 acres, there are some 42,000 plants, and the National Collection of Hamamelis (Witch Hazel). Spring-flowering camellias, magnolias, rhododendrons and azaleas with early-flowering and Japanese cherries are all to be found in full bloom during Spring. Open year-round, daily (01794 368787) www.hilliergardens.org.uk.

The Secret Gardens of Sandwich, The Salutation, Knightrider Street, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9EW. Encircled by the old stone city walls, the gardens are an oasis of serenity waiting to be explored. All of the plants for sale have been grown on site in the nursery and are featured throughout the gardens. Don't miss the inspirational kitchen garden, intriguing tropical border and the calming Lake Patricia because the Secret Gardens have something for everyone - whatever the season. Daffodil week in 2011 is held from March 28 until April 3, and you can expect to see 10,000 daffodils flowering at this time, with over 30 varieties planted. Open all year round. Tel: 01304 619919 www.the-secretgardens.co.uk

Valley Gardens, Berkshire - set in Windsor Great Park, the Valley Gardens should be seen in spring not only for the naturalised dwarf daffodils but also for the glorious rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias. Open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Entry: free (020 7851 5000). www.theroyallandscape.co.uk/landscape/valleygardens/