GP Recommendation - A winter garden to visit

Dr Jonathan Holliday explains why the Savill Garden and Valley Garden are well worth a trip to Windsor.

The Savill Garden and the Valley Garden near Windsor make for a good visit at this time of year.

The Valley Garden forms part of Windsor Great Park. The variety of trees offers different colours and shapes in both foliage and bark. Winter heathers bring colour and diversity, as do the holly berries.

But put the dog back in the car and head in to the Savill Garden.

Designed in the 1930s by Sir Eric Savill, one-time deputy ranger of the Great Park, there is plenty to see here, even in winter.

The Mahonias, one of the national collections at the Savill Garden, are in flower, providing a lovely fragrance (there are some in the temperate house if you are cold, as well as poinsettias providing Christmas cheer).

The New Zealand garden has many evergreen plants that beautifully reflect the low winter sunlight. In the winter beds, the dogwoods look striking with their red stems. Look out for Cornus sanguinea 'Anny's Winter Orange' and Molinia 'Heidebraut', which add beautiful hues.

Admission is free in December and there is a lovely cafe too. At weekends in December, the children can see Santa Claus. The garden is open from 10am-4.30pm and Santa visits from 11am-4pm.

  • Dr Holliday is a GP in Berkshire.

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