Each summer we like to make a trip over to Belton House near Grantham. It's a National Trust property that was given to them in 1984 by the 7th Baron Brownlow after finding running a house of such a size was no longer financially viable. The front of the house looks out on the cricket pitch but round the back there are horticultural treats waiting to be discovered.
One the things about the formal gardens at Belton is that they have very distinctive planting schemes and patterns. Directly at the back of the house is the Dutch Garden.
There are rows of Hidcote lavender mixed in with topiary. The design of this garden is said to have been inspired by a Dutch garden. It featured as 'Rosings Park' in the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.
Even the natural aging on the planter seems to fit in perfectly.
In complete contrast is the Italian garden. In 1816 the 1st Earl Brownlow decided to completely redesign this area after going on a 'Grand Tour' of Italy. At the back an Orangery was built. Today it has a number of temperate plants, a fish pond and fuchsias that climb all the way up to the wall.
At the centre of the Italian garden is the fountain. Around the edges are the black leafed Bishop of York golden dahlias.
Either side of the steps leading up to the Orangery are the stunning Bishop of Llandaff dahlias. The two varieties are quite an unusual planting choice but make for a very bold statement look.
To finish off the Italian garden at the other end the Lion Exedra was built. Today the water feature is flanked by matching flower arrangements.
The other garden of note at Belton House is the Old Rose Garden at the back of the Orangery. During the Second World War it was dug up and used for vegetable planting. The four small lawns have medlar trees on them now while the borders are filled with herbaceous plants.
There are some roses left climbing on the walls but these have finished flowering now. Underneath phlox fill the space.
It's all run a bit wild now but the amount of colour in little garden is a joy. Bracteantha bob about like lollipops on green sticks.
There are more dahlias in this border as but the colours are a marked difference to those round the front of the Orangery.
The fourth border is dominated by hydrangeas. The shade of the wall is the perfect position for the hydrangeas.
A visit to Belton House is worth it for the gardens alone but there's also acres of parkland, a fine country house plus a huge outdoor play area for the children. What's not to love?