When I first moved to England
I was disappointed front gardens lacked the beauty
I'd expected from the Garden Island

But now I know care and attention is put into back gardens,
often a hidden oasis and private gem behind home facades

So a plain looking home unsuspectingly could have
the most magnificent garden behind its fence

Why isn't more attention put toward the front garden in England?
Perhaps it is due to the English sense of privacy while gardening,
no need to spend effort in an area where they won't be hanging-out,
or it is too showy to have an impressive garden in the front

Nonetheless, this is THE Garden Island

First of all, let's talk English garden centers

They look very similar to American ones
with cement floors, nothing-fancy display stands, and simple signage

But the local garden center offers much, much more

It may include a
tea room (almost always)
book shop
gift shop
farm shop
outerwear clothing shop
pet supplies
fake flowers
outdoor vintage antiques
picnic benches to eat your lunch on
a playset for children to use

On a whole other level,
offers not just lovely outdoor plants
and vintage home decor 
but even a cafe which was awarded a Michelin Star in 2011
and is known for celebrity spotting
(not too far from London, if you come for a visit)

But you don't need to own a garden
to enjoy one

You can see some of England's most gorgeous gardens here:

If you seek gardens belonging to royalty,
you can see Prince Charles's Highgrove Garden
and Buckingham Palace Gardens

Henry VIII's Hampton Court

RHS 'Britain In Bloom' is the country's most popular horticultural campaign
with over 1,100 cities, towns, and villages 
competing against each other 
as to which has the most beautiful public spaces

Such a great community builder,
free seeds and support are provided by
the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)
to registered groups

Affordable allotment plots (community gardens)
 are seen in almost every village,
used mostly for growing edible crops

Believe it or not,
Indiana Jones-type plant hunters 
continue to scour the planet for undiscovered flora to bring to the garden,
such as Tom Hart-Dyke who was kidnapped in Colombia
while hunting for rare orchids in 2000

'Garden love' spreads
with informal plant and seed swaps between gardeners

Countless garden courses are offered around the country,
including by Sarah Raven who has a Martha Stewart like status here

On the most formal level,
RHS hosts the annual Chelsea Flower Show,
which is the catwalk for flowers and garden design
attracting competitors and visitors worldwide

What are some of the trends and tips from English gardeners?
Don't miss my next post :)

- all photos by me -
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