Garden Reviews from Twitter

“no two people see the same two people bring the same intelligence or the same willingness to participate” Edward Albee in The Telegraph 30.04.11

The views expressed are those of the contributors, not of  thinkinGardens. To contribute send your tweet to AnneWareham. And thank you to all our current contributors.

For fuller garden reviews please see Garden Reviews


@gardenhero: Nice, and sub-tropical for an added bonus. See also full review


See full review by Anne Wareham


See full review by Suzanne Albinson

@xxxZoexxx: Has great bones – shame the borders aren’t as successful as the various hedges – a fun garden though that engages. (see also)

Alton Towers Gardens

@paulhensey: Wild card entry! Steep but surprising. Alice in Wonderland yew arches, stone masonry worth close inspection. Planting went south a while ago, magnificent derelict glasshouse.

Anglesey Abbey

@archesandarbors Winter Walk is just about to reach its best. (Sept. 2011) Colour, fragrance, form and structure works beautifully.

Arundel Castle

@paulhensey: Immaculate; impressive use of oak in pergola & around water. A veg garden to die for all let down by lawn straight from Southport Flower Show.


@swilson09: Kipling’s home, gdns smallish, formal. Pear alley, pleached limes, mill, new veg/cutflower beds in Mulberry Gdn, yew hedges all fab.

Beth Chatto’s:

@simiansuter: Beth Chatto’s gdn is an example of how, through understanding plants, problem areas from dry gravel to waterlogged hollows can be mastered. See also.

Biddulph Grange

@HappyMouffetard: A tour round the world in one bonkers Victorian eclectic garden. From China to Scottish glen in just a couple of steps.


See full review by Tristan Gregory

Borde Hill

@Arabella Sock: A garden stuck in time that needs massive updating. The parkland around is beautiful.

Boughton House, Kim Wilkie ‘Orpheus’

See full review by James Alexander-Sinclair

@plantmadnige:  No garden, but a big art installation to impress lesser folk. Wonderful to some; to me – folie de grandeur, a crass discord. Boughton’s earthworks seem so out of sync with Northants countryside and to jar so with modern issues & challenges.

Broughton Hall

@paulhensey: By Dan Pearson: Contained and proportionate block planting creates rhythm. Walls by the cafe are still unresolved, but it is human in scale and restrained, a little too much lawn.

Bryan’s Ground :

see full review by Sarah Wint

Bury Court:

@xxxZoexxx Piet Oudoulf and Christopher Bradley-Hole’s interpretations of ‘Prairie’, both different and stunning

@paulhensey  Front garden by Christopher Bradley-Hole: the under stated partner, the neglected pergola almost inaccessible through plants out of scale and control by late summer.  Barn Garden by Piet Oudolf: several circuits required to appreciate; magnificent grasses with spire accents in late summer, but the perennials’ ambitions exceeds space

Cass foundation

@FrancoiseM: Great giants of sculpture in a meandering park – landscape is the perfect backdrop for dynamic works of art – marriage of soft +hard textures

@paulhensey: A determined drive up. Hospitable and helpful. Densely packed with monumental sculpture, superb vistas and hip rasping seats.

Chiswick House

see full review by Barbara Taylor

Coombe House

see full reviews by Darryl Moore and Stephen Anderton

Coton Manor Garden

See full review by Anne Wareham

Dartington Hall

@AnneWareham: Restrained, rich in its history – the trees, the Tiltyard and sculptural -topiary. In July the herbaceous border is magnificent.

Doddington Place Gardens 

@UltingWick: HUGH quirky shaped yews but more. Rejuvenated formal areas. Woodland, folly, and views of N Downs give relaxed feeling overall. Good Pots

Dyffryn Gardens

@AnneWareham: Millions of our money spent on restoration – still not finished and result? Dull, dull, dull.

East Ruston

See full review by Sara Maitland and Anne Wareham

Exbury Gardens

@MichTWheeler: 200 acre. Famous for it’s rhododendrons and camellias, rare tree’s and shrubs. Beautiful Nerines. Lovely gdns to walk round.

Farrs (John Makepeace’s garden) 

@TurboHeeler  Visited John Makepeace’s garden this summer: hordes being awed; plonked-in grass garden; oddly placed benches; weird lawn


@skinflintdesign: I find Glendurgan really dull. Esp being next to the gorgeous Trebah

Great Dixter

@Stephen Parker: Plantsman inherits great garden, fills with colour yet somehow manages to ignore the unresolved garden structure his whole life!

Hampton Court Privy Garden

@xxxZoexxx: A perfect recreation of the garden belonging to William III. Best viewed from the King’s bed chamber.

Hanham Court

@vegplotting: Blowsily romantic with surprises & found objects. Has the usual Bannerman touches e.g. stumpery & wood used as stone. (see also)

Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden

@paulhensey: Sanguine, cogent and sublime. a meandering route through an annual exhibition of sculptures. informality, fighting a return to wilderness

Harlow Carr

@Saralimback: Plantsman’s delight with well designed backbone. Great borders and woods, fab perennial choice, fab vistas throughout and Bettys!

@PowersFlowers: Harlow Carr in February: luminous winter border snakes through troubled sea of lawn, island beds & paths. Design is unresolved, vista-less. I thought there was plenty of exemplary gardening & good plants, but little rhyme or reason, & no rhythm, in the layout. Those wide steps descending importantly from main building were abruptly cut off by ugly railing. Missed opportunity for axis. Winter is so spare & unforgiving, you can really see the bones of the garden. The winter walk, though, was quite electric!

@Saralimback: Gosh-its obviously a different beast in winter! Was stunned by some vistas which must be unseen now – shame! Do you think its seasonal? Seemed quite sensible layout in summer, but due to planting and not design. Glad you enjoyed at least a part of it. Annoys me when people don’t think about the whole year-such a wasted opportunity.

Hatfield House

@cp53a: Pretty, well cared for “authentic” gardens take 2nd place to big events, corporate hospitality & touristy stuff.

Hawkstone Park Follies

@vegplotting: Grade I picturesque remnant landscape by Emes. Mad but loads of fun. Take a torch & only go if you’re fit.


@LazyTrollope: Hmmm. Want to see a vista too many? Visit Hidcote. A claustrophobia inducing but sometimes glorious garden of influence. Full review by Tristam Gregory.

Highdown Gardens

@Kay Sexton: Notable trees and good roses but feels like a garden run by committee. As it’s council owned, it may well be so!


See full review by James Alexander-Sinclair

@Arabella Sock: Only Big Ears could make a garden this noddy. (see also) xxxZoexxx: More money than taste. Littered with objects that appear to have landed from space. Veg Garden is the best part.

Iford Manor

Adrian Tinniswood : Takes my breath away every time I visit. Golly but Peto was a genius!

Ightham Mote

@GirlAboutGarden Well kept gardens. Intelligent planting. Breathtaking setting nestled in a valley. Real jewel – moated medieval manor house.


@cp53a: After Hidcote, this was bliss. Feminine & voluptuous with some elegant planting combinations. A little but forgivingly mad. Great cake! Full review by Anne Wareham

Lady Farm

See full review by Anne Wareham and Stephen Anderton


@AnneWareham Count the twee concrete animals and  prostletising messages. Poor island beddy design and planting. Scary Walk good fun.


See full review by Emma Bond

@AnneWareham:  Over priced, over stuffed, bewildering – will you ever escape? – and rather a mess.

@sarahsalway : As Prince de Ligne said of Neuilly, it would be ‘very beautiful if there were less of it, and if it were actually a garden.’

Little Sparta

See full review by Tim Richardson

@paulhensey: The carved letter frames a landscape that almost descends into a treasure hunt, to identify the many pets Ian Hamilton Finlay seems to have owned.

Longstock Park

@xxxZoexxx: Incredibly tranquil and serene water gardens on the Test; water gardening at its best

Maggie Centre Garden, Charing Cross

See full review by Bridget Rosewell

Mottisfont Abbey

@xxxZoexxx: 13thC Priory in landscape grounds on River Test. Unparalleled Rose garden created by Graham Stuart Thomas.

Mill Dene Garden

see full review by Darryl Moore and controversy here


@xxxZoexxx: A plant collectors paradise; a beautiful ruin, shame the M25 thundering nearby spoils the whole atmosphere.

Oxford Botanic Gardens

@Saralimback:  A great day at Oxford Botanic Garden. Great if you’re a plantaholic but not if you’re looking for a “garden”. Fanbloodytastic plants!!


@HelenReeley: Piet Oudolf’s Millenium Garden: Currently under renovation so was a bit muddy & patchy in Aug-will look better in 2011.

Petworth House

@paulhensey: The meander from the car park is as good as it gets. Capability’s vision is somewhat lessened by the need to avoid goose pooh & the unsheltered wind. Courtyard wildflowers were the highlight.

Powis Castle, Powis

@gwenoldy: Fabulous hedges,some great autumn planting in borders,looks bitty + messy looking across towards the house,needs less! see also full review

Prospect Cottage

@wellywomanblog : Derek Jarman’s garden – an oasis in the shingle.

Red House

@shedworking: A very early ‘outside rooms’ gardens, designed to integrate with the house design. Nice little orchard. Small and very pleasant


@Saralimback Visited Rousham today. The start of the English Landscape Movement, a hidden gem. Formal design, amazing fruit collection, lots of Dahlias!

@AnneWareham Nice woodland walk with rill. Decaying cascade. Gloopy green pool. Depressing gardens round the house.

Sandhill Farm Garden (Rosemary Alexander’s garden)

@paulhensey : Incongruous & introspective, more compact than expected. Some of the ideas are bigger than the borders – prodigious planting.

Scampston Walled Garden

See full review by Charles Hawes


See full review by Alison Levey

Shaw’s Corner

@shedworking: Pleasant if unremarkable garden with small orchard which contains the author’s iconic revolving garden office. Great for kids’ hide and seek.

Sheffield Park

@GirlAboutGarden: The lakes really make the views of this park, famous for its autumn colour. Still prefer Windsor park for its planting & trees.

Sussex Prairie Garden

See full reviews – by Darryl Moore,  Susan Wright, Kate Buxton.

Tony Ridler’s Garden

@StephenGParker: Secreted behind a Swansea terrace,this significant private garden reveals a masterful control of space;enticing, stunning, satisfying and complete. A lesson to us all.


@paulhensey: Best late summer, plants allowed to develop to a scale we can only dream of, bees a prob. Stipa gigantea, like fireworks in late summer sun, flares. Italian garden slightly incongruous to rest of landscape. Maze rubbish. @nicelittleplace: Big bold beautiful planting best approached blindfolded from boundary. see also


@xxxZoexxx: Very Edwardian in its atmosphere; a country garden made of several “rooms”, with a water garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll.


See full review by Bridget Rosewell

@EB_GardenDesign: Like a new friend who presents you with many choices & wonderful rewards; a friend you don’t want to leave. No cake.

wildelycreative: Invites you to: run wildly, quietly, playfully; stalk robins in the hedges; search out magic in hidden Secret Garden corners. Each landscape fits a part of my soul, that’s the part to which Veddw calls.

Waddesdon Manor

@HelenReeley: …Manor…? It’s more like a flippin’ palace… Thousands of bubble gum pink begonias & statues looking brilliant in mid-October sunshine. You’ll need a whole day and good boots.

West Green House

@xxxZoexxx: Elysian fields; a beautiful potager, water staircase, moon gate and lake, calming and restful.


@gwenoldy: extraordinary, fizzing, confusing, beautiful, ugly, disappointing at one turn, mind expanding at the next,Wiley is Van Gogh in a garden


xxxZoexxx: Actually the Piet Oudoulf borders at Wisley are a HUGE let down, and that snail thing needs levelling (its supposedly a piece of land art, created to be used as a viewing platform for the PO borders.To my mind its nothing more than a great mud coloured carbuncle.) It’s been replanted more times than I have had hot dinners to try and make it attractive. @cp53a: Grand old lady of RHS looking aged in parts – still love her. Good late summer plant combos round lake/canal. Mario & veg bellissimo!

Waltham Place, Berkshire

@AnneWareham Weedy and over rated. Classic ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ garden – a bit pleased with itself.

West Wycombe Park:

@shedworking: Pleasing landscape gardens, various temples and rather nice lake and islands reached by turfed stone bridges.

Wollerton Old Hall Garden

@EB_GardenDesign: Good veg garden but overall tries too hard; rather claustrophobic & ‘Sissing-coat’. Great restaurant!


@paulhensey: Civility on the minibus to; was replaced by brusque barraging in the queue to catch the bus back. Limited admittance and the better for it, A little of everything with exceedingly good tea rooms

@AnneWareham: Not another totally out of place William Pye water feature?  Not more Bannerman grotesquerie ? In amongst some good garden.

York Gate

@gardenhero: Delightful series of garden rooms, belie the overall size. surprise at every turn, formal or informal, bound to please! (If I’d travelled hundreds of miles, I might think differently, but it’s only 20 minutes up the road!)


Rose Briar 

@LazyTrollope:  Most of the elements I would love to have in a garden put together as a very pleasing whole of just right size.

 Town Place, Sussex

@AnneWareham Described by fellow visitors as ‘souless’. Over tidied. Attractive  topiary ruin. Rather self conscious. Roses. Wonderful old tree.

Watts Lane, Louth.

@pavilionofwomen: #NGS Long garden behind small cottage. Fab use of colour. Different ‘rooms’ with differing planting.


Il Bosco Della Ragnaia

@charlesbchawes: Contemporary woodland garden of 24 acres set in beautiful Tuscany landscape. Strong lines, and structure. Unmissable.  (see also)

Villa Garzoni

@charlesbchawes:  A shabby, neglected place with tired and municipal planting made all the worse by an ugly building for comatose butterflies.

Villa Reale di Marlia

@charlesbchawes: Massive estate with Secret Garden atmosphere. Many wonderful elements preserved of the Renaissance garden. Shabby Chic delight

Villa Torrigiani

@charlesbchawes: The prettiest of Baroque villas set in an English style park with intact sunken Renaissance water garden and pool. Charmed.


Kitchener’s Island, Aswan

@cp53a : Lush botanic garden oasis in middle of Nile.Wonderful counterpoint to Saharan heat but very popular.


Jardin Majorelle

@paulhensey: Small but Immaculate, combed gravel & plucked plants. Colour that would work nowhere else. Plants labelled and pots seemingly painted daily. Much better than expected.

Comment? Email:


Thank you @paulhensey –  for all the following

General Life, Granada

Noisy with water & tourists, a route with little respite & over all too quickly. Clipped, blooming & lush despite ridiculous temperatures.

 Viana, Courtyards, Cordoba

a parade of 12 intimate spaces. Formal, solemn, claustrophobic in parts but proportional and timeless. A worthy walk.

Alcazar, Cordoba

Pools, clipped columns & classical fragments. Threadbare roses are prized but ill-suited, more landscape speakers you have never seen!

 Carmen de los Martieres, Granada

Expensive views and shady. Leaking ponds & dusty paths, isolated & ignored, somewhat restored. Spring offers alternatives to dusty greens.

“Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.” Voltaire

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