An afternoon at Ness Gardens was definitely not Son’s idea of the best day out. Flowers and foliage are not especially his thing but he was willing to indulge us in return for a bit of Minecraft later in the day. A convenient place to meet friends with stunning views across the Dee Estuary to the Welsh hills beyond – what’s not to like was my thought.
This is a gorgeous spot on the Wirral Peninsula, founded by a Liverpool cotton merchant in the late 1800’s now run by Liverpool University and world renowned. The merchant had a passion for flowers and plants, he employed plant hunters (who knew there was such a thing) to travel the world and bring back botanic treasures. The end result was hundreds of new species introduced to Britain and the gardens we see before us today. The daughter of the founder donated this place to Liverpool University in 1948, now it’s open for all to enjoy.
Everywhere you look are looming trees and gorgeous paths. Son picked up a children’s trail at the entrance and we spent the first hour dashing from pillar to post seeking out clues. We also splashed out on some chicken feed and had those birds eating out of our hands!
Busy at the entrance, once in the gardens it is a real haven of tranquility. There are 64 acres to uncover, a collection of 15,000 plants from all over the world and plenty of room for everyone.
The timing of our visit was spot on – everything in bloom and picture perfect views all around. We downloaded a tree trail from their website – a self-guided walk looking at 22 of the most interesting trees. Who knew trees could be so fascinating – I say that without irony, believe me they are! Only a mile long, but we saw some diverse and fascinating trees – monkey puzzle, giant redwood (my what amazingly spongy bark it has) and a handkerchief tree made it to the top of our favourites list.
Definitely a garden paradise, not Son’s first choice of activity but even he was suprised at how engrossed he became in trees and plants. What’s more Ness Gardens provided some inspiration for a Minecraft garden apparently – win win all round.