The English garden. The world’s first industrialised nation has always dreamed of a site of tranquillity that offers a retreat from Blake’s “dark satanic mills”. Trowel in hand, mud on the overalls, where everything is just so in the sanctuary of the garden.
One man who embodies this mindset is the new king, Charles III, who is never happier than when tending to his Highgrove Garden in Tetbury. Flowers bloom, both wild and cultivated, alongside a crop of organic British fruit and vegetables.
London, too, has its fair share of beautiful gardens. Nowhere is this more evident than the Chelsea Flower Show. At this yearly exhibition of show-gardens, on display from 22nd May to 27th May 2023, you can explore the expert gardeners’ horticultural visions of the good life.
Boodles, the oldest family-run jeweller in London, has a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show this year dedicated to the “Best of British”. It’s a garden that demonstrates how the Wainwright family have been inspired by Britain’s bounty in their creations. Much like the English garden, Boodles’ pieces are designed to be nurtured throughout the generations.
From Brown’s Hotel, we offer our guests exclusive tours of many of London’s gardens. Expert horticulturalists will be on hand to lead you round and share their knowledge and love for gardens and gardening. Here are a few of our favourites, including perennial classics and boutique gems for the green-fingered enthusiast.
Chelsea Physic Garden
This garden is the second oldest botanical garden in England, founded in 1673 by apothecaries seeking ingredients for their remedies and potions. Occupying four acres on the banks of the Thames, it has a unique collection of medicinal plants and a beautiful glasshouse.
Buckingham Palace Garden
The largest private garden in London, it covers 39 acres and includes a lake, rose garden, and wildflower meadow. This garden plays host to the annual summer garden parties and offers a stunning backdrop to the official residence of the British monarch.
Clarence House Gardens
Located adjacent to St. James's Palace, Clarence House is still the residence of Charles and Camilla, until they move in to Buckingham Palace. The gardens feature a mix of formal and informal planting, with an emphasis on sustainability and biodiversity.
Home to over 7,000 species of plants, the quintessential botanical garden boasts the oldest Victorian glasshouse in the world and a number of rare and endangered plants, such as the Wollemi Pine and the Chinese Dove Tree. You may not know, however, that Kew has its own police force, and was used in World War Two as a centre for training undercover agents – which may explain the bomb site.
By visiting London’s English gardens you’ll add a very British experience of the “green and pleasant land” to your stay at Brown’s Hotel. Ask our concierge about a private guide to London’s finest gardens.