Nicola Crosse finds the very best garden treats this May (particularly good for those who may not always find their fingers green…)
Now is the month of Maying, when merry lads (and lasses, of course) are playing – but they need to put their backs into a bit of gardening too. May is about getting your soil up to scratch, adding compost and mulch, sewing seeds, creating supports, planning colour schemes and planting veg. Manna from heaven for green-fingered keeners – but what if you don’t like gardening?
Simply have a dig about in our Gardens Collection and you’ll find over 50 Special places to plan a little
break from your own guilt-inducing patch. Laze on a lawn you haven’t mowed,
wander through paths you haven’t weeded, be bowled over by herbaceous-ness you
haven’t had to plan, sleep like a log in beds you haven’t had to make, wake to
a treat of a breakfast someone else has slaved over a hot stove for.
In most of these places you can stay all day, but there’s a swathe of NGS gardens open in
May so you can explore further afield (and get afternoon teas aplenty with lashings of homemade cake).
Get your copy of the NGS yellow book and start planning your May garden getaways now.
Ridleys Cheer at North Wraxall,
Wiltshire – a riot of beautiful informality – open on Sunday 15 May from 2-5pm. Or, new to the NGS this year –
The Manor House at Steeple Aston, on Sunday 22 May from 2-6pm.
Cadwell Hill Barn and find a stunning garden surrounded by ancient dry stone walls.
You’ll get sink-into beds, roomy bathrooms, robust breakfasts and free run of the springy lawn with pathways,
a raised terrace and a circular Italianate garden.
Mary Newman’s Garden in Saltash, Cornwall is an Elizabethan treat open on Sunday 22 May
from 12-4pm or explore a little cottage garden at South Lea, Pillaton on Sunday
8th May from 1-5pm.
The Cider House for uninterrupted views from smart bedrooms, 700 acres of
woodland and much greenery.
Rosedale, Bures, Suffolk for unusual plants, open on Sunday 15 May from 12-5pm and Lavenham Hall, Sudbury
with its ancient ecclesiastical ruins, on Sunday 22 May from 11am-5pm.
The Old Rectory Country House for restful bedrooms, a pool, an honesty bar and
acres of formal gardens.