From an ancient knot garden to water-lily filled ponds, discover the best houses for greenfingered buyers
Britain has a long and important gardening tradition. Whether it's just a tiny cottage garden full of herbs, violets and roses or a grand affair with oak-lined avenues, statues and water displays, few British houses feel complete without a bit of greenery. At Mariners, the current owner is an expert on Gertrude Jekyll, who was one of Britain's best gardeners. Jekyll's influence emerges clearly in the grounds, which have a gorgeous formal rose area, lush herbaceous borders, perfectly trimmed hedging and a stunning central pond with water lilies. The gardens link seamlessly with an outdoor entertaining area on the paved terrace. Strutt & Parker. Find this and other luxury properties for sale on the website of our sister magazine, Country Life.
Polshot Manor, Elstead, Surrey
There's nothing like the eye of an expert to create a fabulous garden, and few people are more experienced than Chelsea gold medallist Fiona Lawrenson, who redesigned the gardens at Polshot Manor a few years ago. Today, the grounds are a gorgeous sequence of formal and informal areas, expanses of lawn, mature woodland, and three spring-fed ponds. Strutt & Parker. Find this and other luxury properties for sale on the website of our sister magazine, Country Life.
Hethfelton House, near Wareham, Dorset
Where the grounds are large enough, they should accommodate different areas for variety and interest. Hethfelton House, for example, has formal gardens, a croquet lawn, lush parkland, a small lake, an outdoor dining area with fireplace, a gorgeous Victorian walled garden featuring Old English roses set around a water fountain, and a fabulous maze. Savills. Find this and other luxury properties for sale on the website of our sister magazine, Country Life.
Hannaford Manor and Hannaford House, Poundsgate, Devon
Thomas Mawson, one of the Edwardian era's greatest landscape designers, created the Hannaford Manor gardens, with their striking terrace and balustrading, for Boer War hero Lt. Col. William Edward Thomas Bolitho and his wife. The Bolithos kept up the good work and filled the grounds with many rare plant species, which still grow today. Strutt & Parker. Find this and other luxury properties for sale on the website of our sister magazine, Country Life.
The Toft, Bridlington, Yorkshire
Even in town, gardens play an important part, according to Sharon Elalouf of Ash Design London interior designers, who says they provide "a serene retreat as well as an outdoor room for entertaining." Ideally, the perfect garden blends seamlessly with the house and complements its best features. At Grade II-listed The Toft, in Bridlington, the formal knot garden is laid out exactly as it would have been 150 years ago, perfectly matching the house?s period atmosphere. Jackson-Stops & Staff. Find this and other luxury properties for sale on the website of our sister magazine, Country Life.
Benny Carr Farm, Burnt Yates, Harrogate, North Yorkshire
The late Geoffrey Smith, a keen gardener and garden presenter for the BBC, designed the grounds at Benny Carr Farm. He created a lush retreat full of interest, with specimen trees, bushes, perennials, lawned areas and woodland, as well as rockeries, a vegetable garden and two pounds. Strutt & Parker. Find this and other luxury properties for sale on the website of our sister magazine, Country Life.
Stormont Court, Godden Green, Sevenoaks, Kent
Children and gardens go hand in hand, so having a good play area is crucial if you have little ones around. Stormont Court does this perfectly, with a fabulous owl gardens. This was created by a previous owner for her grandchildren: it was designed so that, when they played hide and seek, the chaser stood by the owl water bath with their eyes shut facing the Mulberry tree and each of the other children had an exit which was not visible from where the chaser stood. Chesterton Humberts. Find this and other luxury properties for sale on the website of our sister magazine, Country Life.
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