My favourite garden is Ness Botanical Gardens managed by Liverpool University but open to the public all year round.
My wife’s favourite time of year is late spring when the bottom meadow is festooned with Cow Parsley. Each year the thoughtful gardeners cut a swathe through the Cow Parsley so that visitors like us can walk within the scented florets on either side swaying in the breeze.
Winter is a good time to visit, as you will have most of the vistas to yourself, which includes the magnificent views over the River Dee, and it’s estuary to the Welsh hills beyond.
The gardens are famous for its mature trees, rare plants and wild flower meadows. It also boasts well-established herbaceous borders and of course its famous Laburnum terrace walk way.
Autumn brings feathered visitors to feast on hare berries and the fruits of the mountain ash. Blackbirds and thrushes will be finishing off the crab apples. Flocks of fieldfares busily combing the meadows and hopefully, we might get to see that rarest of visitors from Scandinavia, the waxwing.
Perched above the Dee Estuary, with stunning views across to Wales, Ness Gardens nestle, a haven of tranquillity. Created by Cotton Merchant, Arthur Kilpin Bulley in 1898, who was responsible for introducing thousands of new plants into Britain, they are now maintained by Liverpool University and are still a major botanical centre involved in plant conservation. The gardens provide an extensive area of wonderfully varied planting, with south facing terraces and many water features. Finding a lovely picnic spot is easy, choosing is difficult.
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