Gardens to Visit

Part of the fun of starting a new year is planning the trips that I would like to take in the coming months. I like to pile up in front of a fire with a stack of travel magazines and books and dream about all the places on my “must visit” list.

Of course, my favorite spots center around a beautiful garden and there are so many gardens to visit I have plenty of options to think about.

It is hard to beat the many botanical gardens such as the New York Botanical Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden, Missouri Botanical or the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, but I am especially drawn to old estate gardens. I guess it is the historian in me that makes me love them so much, plus it is such a personal experience. You can really get a sense of the people who tended these old landscapes.

Now there are too many gardens for me to recommend in this space so I suggest that you pick up a few books on gardens that are open to the public. A few of my favorites are Open Days Directory, an annual listing of over 400 private gardens open to the public available through the Garden Conservancy and the series of Garden Lover’s Guides to Europe.

All that said, below you will find a list of some of my favorite, smaller gardens to visit in this country and Great Britain.

United States

Bandelier Garden (The Garden at El Zaguan)
Address: The Garden at El Zaguan (Bandelier Garden), 545 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Telephone: 505-983-2567
Dates Open: All Year
Monday through Saturday

Address: Cantigny, 1 South, 151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60187
Telephone: 630-668-5161
Web Address: Dates Open: Tuesday through Sunday, March through December
Friday through Sunday, February

Address: Filoli, Canada Road, Woodside, CA 94062
Telephone: 650-364-8300 Fax: 650-366-7836
Web Address:
Dates Open: Mid-February through the End of October
Open Tuesday through Saturday

The Gertrude Jekyll Garden at the Glebe House Museum
Address: The Gertrude Jekyll Garden at the Glebe House Museum, Hollow Road, Woodbury, CT 06798
Telephone: 203-263-2855
Web Address:
Dates Open: April through December
Open Wednesday through Sunday

Middleton Place
Address: Middleton Place, Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414
Telephone: 803-556-6020
Web Address:
Dates Open: All Year
Open Daily

Address: Monticello, P.O. Box 316, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Telephone: 434-984-9800 or 434-984-9822
Web address:
Dates Open: All Year
Open Daily Except Christmas

Mount Vernon
Address: Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, George Washington Memorial
Parkway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121
Telephone: 703-780-2000
Web address:
Dates Open: All Year Including Holidays

Old Westbury Gardens
Address: 71 Old Westbury Road
Old Westbury, NY 11568
Phone: 516-333-0048
Fax: 516-333-6807
Web Address:
Dates Open: April through December
Wednesday through Monday
Closed Christmas

Great Britain

Arley Hall and Gardens
Address: Arley Hall and Gardens, Great Budworth, nr Northwich, Cheshire, England, CW9 6NA
Telephone: 01565 777353. Fax: 01 565 777465
Web address:
Dates Open:
Mid-April to End Sept. and Weekends in October
Closed on Mondays

Bodnant Garden
Address: Bodnant Gardens, Tal-y-Cafn, Colwyn Bay, Gwynedd, Wales, LL28 5RE
Telephone: 01 492 650460
Web Address:
Dates Open: Mid-March to the end of October
Open Daily

Castle Hill
Address: Castle Hill, Filleigh, Barnstaple, Devon, England, EX320RQ
Telephone: 01 598 760336 ext. 4
Fax: 01 598 760457
Web Address:
Dates Open: April 2nd through June 11th
Mondays and Fridays, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Address: Bakewell, Derbyshire, England, DE45 1PP
Telephone: 01 246 565300 Fax: 01 246 583536
Web address:
Dates Open: Late March to Late October
Open Daily

Cholmondeley Castle Gardens
Address: Cholmondeley Castle Gardens, Malplas, Cheshire, England, SY14 8AH
Telephone: 01829 720383.
Dates Open:
April to September
Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays

Hestercombe House Gardens
Address: Hestercombe House Gardens, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset, England, TA2 8LG
Telephone: 01 823 413923 Fax: 01823 413747
Web address:
Dates Open: All year
Open Daily

Hidcote Manor
Address: Hidcote Manor Garden, nr Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England, GL55 6LR
Telephone: 01 386 438333 Fax: 01 386 438817
Web address:
Dates Open: Late March to End of October
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday