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Garden visits


We organise a number of garden visits for SLGS members and their guests during the year. We are always looking out for beautiful and interesting gardens to visit, near to home and further afield, so please let us have your suggestions!

Each snowdrop season we usually have a visit to one or two gardens with noteworthy collections of snowdrops (Galanthus species, forms and cultivars). Numbers are usually limited, and places are restricted to members. These visits are often outside the SLGS area, and members often car-pool and share transport costs. Unfortunately, snow has disrupted our visits in two of the last three visits.

Every summer we organise one or two visits to interesting local gardens (within the SLGS catchment area, or close by), usually on a summer evening. These visits are normally open to all members and their guests.

We usually arrange at least one coach day-trip a year to notable gardens and specialist nurseries some distance outside our area; the gardens chosen will be a mixture of well-known ones and smaller, private gardens. There is always at least one opportunity to buy interesting plants! Sometimes, when the area to be visited is further afield, or there are several large gardens lined up, we arrange a weekend visit that includes overnight accomodation.

We have also arranged visits to gardens in northern France, including the late Princess Greta Sturdza’s wonderful woodland garden at Le Vasterival; landscape architect Alexandre Thomas’s inventive garden L’Agapanthe; and of course the wonderful reconstruction of Monet’s famous gardens at Giverny.

You may be interested to know that the Paris-based publisher Editions Ulmer has recently published books about all three of these gardens in their beautiful series Des Jardins d’exception, with interesting forewords and informative captions to the excellent photographs (which are the meat of these softback 96-page volumes) in English and French.

Ulmer also publish the late Princess Sturdza’s own book about Le Vasterival in two versions (one in French, the other in English) which show her gardens progressing over the years and through the seasons, and include details of her technique of pruning shrubs and trees for transparence. (Our chairman Simon Garbutt should declare an interest here: he translated this book and several of Ulmer’s Jardins d’exception series, including the ones on Giverny, Les jardins Agapanthe, Le Vasterival, Vauville, Villandry, Chaumont-sur-Loire, Le Bois du Fay and Le Bois des Moutiers.)


Several SLGS members open their gardens to the public, some only occasionally for charities such as the National Gardens Scheme, others more regularly as a business. Both sorts are listed on our Members’ Gardens Open page. Some may open privately for SLGS members. Members’ nurseries are listed separately.