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July is a wonderful time of year with many gardens at their peak. Delphiniums, agapanthus, sweet peas, honeysuckle, dahlias and roses - there are so many flowers to enjoy. Take a picnic and immerse yourself in the glorious smells and sounds of summer. The stunning borders of herbaceous perennials at Stonor Park are billowing with colour during July.

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Discover fabulous gardens to visit near me and you

Use this guide to plan your days out either by searching for places by name or widening your search by category or season:

**A route planner**

**Fascinating Histories**


**Stunning Photographs**


**Ideas for family days out**


**Where to find the best roses**





History of Gardens

The early history of gardening is largely connected with food production with fruit and nuts grown for consumption. Gradually, gardens began to be created for aesthetic reasons.

One of the earliest examples of an ornamental garden can be found in the funerary chapel of Sennufer (c1427-1400 BC)  in Egypt. A favourite of King Amenhotep II, Sennufer was ‘Overseer of the Granaries and Fields, Gardens and Cattle of Amun’.

The oldest Persian garden belonged to Cyrus the Great (c600-530 BC) With a geometric plan and stone watercourses, it has elements of the four-fold design of the chahar bagh. After the conquest of Persia by Muslim Arabs, the paradise garden became established and spread with Islam throughout Egypt and into Spain and by 16th century to India. For a modern interpretaion of the Paradise Garden, see Tom Stuart-Smith’s design at RHS Bridgewater.

The first evidence of the ornamental art in Britain was after the Romans introduced the idea in the 1st century AD. An early example is at Fishbourne Roman Palace near Chichester.


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I give talks to gardening clubs, horticultural societies and history groups on a range of subjects. If you are interested, please email me on:


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Stonor Park is set in a valley deep in the Chiltern Hills.

Wander around the walled Italianate pleasure garden with its herbaceous borders, two rectangular ponds, topiary and gazebo.

The old Kitchen Garden is lined with apple and plum trees.

Explore the Arboretum and the Park with its herd of fallow deer. Walk to the top of the hill and look back at the magnificent house...

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All information on this site is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I am not liable for damages that arise out of any errors in the material or omission of information that turns out to be material on this website. All photographs are mine unless otherwise stated and cannot be used by others without my permission.


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