Radcot House, Faringdon, Oxfordshire OX18 2SX
Characterful gabled Radcot House (not open) dates from the mid-17th century and the three-acre garden that surrounds it skilfully matches the venerable architecture as well as offering contemporary vibrancy. Tall yew and beech hedges and a long formal pool evoke the house’s origins, but the planting is fresh and modern with grasses and late-flowering perennials grouped in bold blocks for emphasis.
At this time of year the Pavilion garden, which lies hidden in the far corner, is a spectacular mix including rudbeckias, coreopsis and boltonia, with grasses such as panicum and molinia. The proverbial icing is provided by the eclectic array of ornaments and seats, all placed to maximum effect.
Open Sunday 18 August, 2pm-5.30pm. Admission £5, children free. Home-made teas, plants for sale, dogs welcome.
Moretonhampstead Gardens, Devon TQ13 8PW
These two outstanding large gardens offer a combined feast in this village on the north side of Dartmoor with magnificent views out over the moor. Both properties extend to four acres and contain rich variety.
Mardon retains some of the style of its Edwardian origins with impressive terraces and fine herbaceous borders that are a late-summer treat.
Sutton Mead has a more whimsical style, with paths winding through woodland, and some unusual planting and buildings such as a sedum-roofed summerhouse.
Both locations are bursting with variety and innovation, including orchards and thriving vegetable gardens, a bog garden and a fernery, stunning dahlias, groups of grasses and fine ornamental trees.
Open Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August, 2pm-6pm. Admission £6, home-made teas, plants for sale, dogs welcome.
The Picton Garden, Old Court Nurseries, Walwyn Rd, Colwall, Herefordshire WR13 6QE
This is the mecca for Michaelmas daisies (or autumn-flowering asters), which generations of the Picton family have been nurturing here since 1906.
Besides the garden developed by the family is the equally famous Old Court Nurseries, originally founded by Ernest Ballard.
At this time of year the banks of merging soft colours of hundreds of Michaelmas daisies are an unforgettable sight and visitors will not be surprised to discover that the garden holds the Plant Heritage National Collection.
Development of the garden has seen the integration of a subtle variety of late-flowering perennials to complement the Michaelmas daisies, and the result is a revelation of what a garden can look like at this time of the year. You are bound to leave with a trophy to plant in your own garden.
The setting just to the west of the Malvern Hills adds to the enjoyment.
Open Sunday 18 August, 11am-5pm. Admission £3.50, children free, plants for sale.
- For all gardens open for the National Gardens Scheme, visit ngs.org.uk