Three gardens to visit this weekend

George Plumptre
Hatfield House

Hatfield House West Garden, Hatfield, Herts AL9 5HX

The gardens at Hatfield have been moulded over centuries by generations of the Salisbury family. The Old Palace, which faces the formal gardens to the west of the main house, was the childhood home of Elizabeth I, while much of the present garden was created during the 20th century by the late Molly, Marchioness of Salisbury. At this time of year, the clipped hedge structure is prominent, with a tapestry of small spring bulbs beneath the lime walk and sweeping carpets of daffodils in the woodland garden. A magical place for a springtime walk.

Open today, 11am-5pm. Entry £6, children free, light refreshments and teas.

The Old Vicarage, Washington, West Sussex RH20 4AS

The Old Vicarage

Meryl Walters has made a garden for all seasons, confirmed by the fact that it has open days for the NGS from February to October. A skilful, restful composition of subtly linking varied areas and changing levels around the elegant Regency house (not open), the garden also has the wow factor of spectacular views to the Downs. Wander the three acres enjoying daffodils and many other spring bulbs, or sit and soak it all up from the smart new Italianate gazebo.

Open tomorrow, 10.30am-4pm. Entry £6, children free, teas, plants for sale, dogs welcome.

Dora’s Field, Rydal, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9LX

Dora's Field

Where better to celebrate the glorious daffodil season than at a garden named after the daughter of William Wordsworth, a stone’s throw from his house and where he planted daffodils in her memory after her early death?

With views over the Windermere landscape, it’s a dreamy place to visit. Close by and also open are Victorian High Close with outstanding trees, Holehird (one of the Lake District’s horticultural gems) and Rydal Hall, with formal features by Edwardian designer Thomas Mawson.

Open tomorrow, 11am-4pm. Entry donation, dogs welcome.



For all gardens open for the National Gardens Scheme visit NGS.