Yes we have all done it, brought all the presents and realise you have forgotten someone or indeed find out they have already got your gift, so what do you do apart from panic! How about getting online and buy someone a gift membership allowing the person to visit all the gardens they would like to in 2019? Well here’s a handy guide to some of those out there
The National Trust
For £64.80-114.60 for either a years individual to family membership gets you into over 500 different places including some of the greatest gardens in the uk like Mottisfont Abbey Gardens, Powis castle, Sissinghurst, Hidcote, Stourhead Just to name a few not only the gardens but the houses and estates too. Also gives you a chance to wander about the countryside owned by the National Trust. Free car parking in most car parks, free hand book, magazine every 4 months makes it all great value for month. Details here. For Scotland, there is a separate National Trust for Scotland that covers all the sites above the border and more details can be found here.
As well as 4 soon to be 5 beautiful gardens and 195 partner gardens to walk around, many great shows to visit and a brilliant monthly magazine called The Garden. All the gardens are stunning and cover all aspects of gardening from wildlife gardening to vegetable growing including all within. Each garden has a library that’s holds a superb range of books and then you also have the Lindsay Library containing some of the greatest horticulture literature in the uk. Single membership is £59 or £86 for a joint membership. Details here
They offer around 400 different historic sites on their yearly membership, prices start from £54 for an individual and go to £96 for a family ticket. The ticket gives you free access to the 400 different sites, a magazine and handbook as well as discounts to events. If you thought English Heritage is just about historic buildings, you could be more wrong, they also have some stunning gardens amongst the collection including Audley End, Warmer Castle, Downs Cottage. Details here
Well it’s not a type of ticket but if you join either one of these botanical gardens Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Royal Botanical Gardens Kew and Wakehurst, Batsford Arboretum, Birmingham Botanical Gardens and National Botanical Gardens of Wales, who can visit the rest FOC. It’s one of my favourite tickets and great value at £32 for individual and £57 for a joint membership when I joined at Hilliers, prices may vary at other gardens so please check before buying! More details here
There are lots of other friends and membership schemes for private gardens around the country, too many for me to list, these cover the garden or a couple of gardens, why not search for that garden local to the person you are buying for and treat them for a year.
Hope you enjoyed my brief rundown on alternative Christmas gifts