The RHS Partner Garden scheme welcomes 14 new gardens for 2017, giving members free entry to even more inspiring horticulture. Discover fascinating plant collections, pick up ideas for your own garden, and spend a memorable day out, no matter where you live in the UK. Here's a taste of this year's new gardens:
Andromeda Botanic Gardens, Barbados
This Barbados National Trust garden is packed with trees, palms and other plants collected from around the globe by RHS Veitch medal recipient Iris Bannochie. Enjoy colourful displays in the renovated Bougainvillea Garden (at its best from Jan - May), see an amazing diversity of foliage in the Arum Garden (July - Dec) and see the new Bromeliad Garden, due for completion by January 2017. During your visit, look for the resident wildlife, including monkeys, hummingbirds and butterflies in variety.
Attadale Gardens, Wester Ross
Attadale Gardens was totally transformed after the 1980 storms by owner Nicky Macpherson, who has planted more than 2,000 trees over 20 years. In the Water Gardens, waterfalls, Monet bridges, Meconopsis, bamboo, ferns and candelabra primulas reflect in dark pools, creating spectacular effects. Admire a wide variety of rhododendrons, some more than 100 years old, and visit the Japanese garden complete with raked gravel, cloud-pruned hedges, dwarf conifers and Japanese maples.
- Free member access applies 1 Apr - 1 May and 1 Sep - 31 Oct
Backhouse Rossie Estate, Fife
In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Quaker Backhouse family raised many prize winning plants. Now, the 6th generation of the family is honouring that horticultural legacy with the Backhouse Centre, walled garden and nursery. There are herbaceous borders with grasses, colourful and rare perennials; alliums surrounding a contemplative grass labyrinth; water features; a potager of herbs, vegetables and cut flowers; and a woodland walk lined with daffodils in season.
- Free member access applies Fri when open
Blair Castle, Perthshire
Explore the magnificent 3.6ha (9 acres) walled garden, overlooked by a life-sized statue of Hercules. Along the north wall you’ll find rose and herbaceous borders planted to suit the northern climate. Lines of early fruit trees sweep down to the ponds, all complemented by statuary, ornamental buildings and an arched Chinese bridge. From here you can walk to Diana’s Grove, mainly planted in the late 19th century with exotic conifers. Today the grove features some of the tallest and finest specimen trees in the country.
- Free member access applies Weds when open
Castle Hill Gardens, Devon
These 20ha (50 acres) gardens offer a wealth of sights and scents that change with the seasons. Wander along tranquil paths where magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas grow in abundance together with carpets of daffodils, bluebells and North Devon primroses. A walk through the Millennium Garden with its colourful herbaceous borders leads to winding pathways into historic parkland interspersed with temples, follies and statues – and don’t miss the climb to the castle for panoramic views to Exmoor and beyond.
- Free member access applies Apr & Sept
Evenley Wood Garden, Northamptonshire
The garden's unusual band of acid soil, in an otherwise predominantly alkaline area, allows the cultivation of plants such as rhododendrons, camellias, and magnolias. As the garden comes to life, carpets of named snowdrops appear followed by the garden’s 800m long Scilla ‘stream’ and some 100 magnolias. In the warmer months, there are more than 300 roses and 150 lilies to enjoy, including Lilium martagon ‘Evenley Jane’, which was developed and propagated here.
- Free member access applies Feb & June
Arboretum des Grandes Bruyères, France
The Arboretum des Grandes Bruyères is a contemporary arboretum situated in the middle of the Orléans Forest. Officially classified as a ‘Jardin Remarquable’ by the Ministry of Culture, it holds seven important collections: magnolias, dogwoods, oaks, cypresses, pines, firs and spruces. Alongside these labelled collections you can discover – perhaps surprisingly – some 1,000 antique roses selected for their perfume, a vast English garden, a vegetable garden and an orchard. Organic management ensures a rich array of wildlife, too.
- Free member access applies 1 Jul - 31 Aug (Mon - Fri)
Larch Cottage Gardens, Cumbria
This unique garden is the result of 31 years of work by owner Peter Stott, who dreamt of creating a space of peace and tranquillity. Romanesque walls and a chapel provide a striking backdrop to the gardens, generously planted with more than 15,000 plant types. Meandering paths lead past borders, a wildflower meadow, an orchard and lawns with a stream leading to a small lake. A wide range of rare and unusual shrubs, perennials and climbers can be bought in the adjoining nursery.
- Free member access applies when open
Midney Gardens, Somerset
Midney Gardens combines garden favourites with more unusual plants to achieve a cottage garden wiith a difference. In the kitchen garden, a path lined with sage, mint and rosemary meanders among the fruit and vegetables. The woodland walk and wildlife pond area have been created with hints of a garden lost in time, and teems with butterflies and birds. In one of the garden's polytunnels you can take a quick 'trip' around the world, travelling from Morocco to South America in just a few minutes.
- Free member access applies Thur & Fri when open
Moorland Cottage Plants and Garden, Pembrokeshire
This country garden and nursery shows what can be achieved on an exposed, difficult site with no chemical pest control. There are several distinct areas including herbaceous borders, wildflower meadows of native grasses and flowering plants, and a developing woodland walk and bog. Here you will find hydrangeas and rhododendrons underplanted with drifts of Crocosmia, Geranium, Astilbe, slug-resistant hostas and moisture loving irises.
- Free member access applies when open
Stonyford Cottage Gardens, Cheshire
Shade and moisture-loving plants thrive in this informal garden, including primulas, astilbes and hostas. Cross the bridges to an unusual island where groups of alder and willow grow through the water, alongside choice woodlanders including Rodgersia, Brunnera and Trillium. Across the lake you can enjoy views of the cottage gardens, where borders of summer-flowering perennials are set around rarer trees and shrubs.
- Free member access applies when open
Thornbridge Hall, Derbyshire
Designed at the end of the 19th century to create a vision of '1,000 shades of green', these gardens are a prime example of Victorian drive, engineering and determination to manipulate the landscape into a series of 'rooms'. More recently, the owners have developed the kitchen garden, scented terrace, long border, modern knot garden, orangery and greenhouse. Some of the garden's numerous statues came from Clumber Park and Chatsworth, while others were gifts from the Greek government.
- Free member access applies 3 May - 27 Sept (Weds) & 7 - 28 Sept (Thurs)
Yeo Valley Organic Garden, Somerset
This 2.6ha (6.5 acres) contemporary garden is one of only a handful of organic ornamental gardens certified by the Soil Association. The team is always experimenting and trying new ideas - see quirky sculptures, bulbs in their thousands (including more camassias in the meadow and tulips on the ha-ha), a 'posh' veggie patch, cut flower garden and Big Grass bed.
- Free member entry applies 27 Apr - 29 Sept (Fri)
Yorkshire Arboretum, York
The arboretum's grand spaces are home to an impressive collection of more than 6,000 trees, spanning the diversity that can be grown in northern England. Everything has enough space to grow to its full potential. See the fine Himalayan oak, the Mexican firs and pines with their huge cones, or strikingly beautiful groves of birches. In spring, the trees are complemented by sweeps of bulbs, including thousands of blue camassias. In summer wildflowers and waving grasses, parted by sinuous paths, make an idyllic scene. Later there are rich autumn colours to enjoy.
- Free member access applies 1 Mar - 31 Aug