All the extra time in our gardens these days is wonderful for productivity and relaxation, but though gardens are continuously evolving, we are always in the same garden. Online virtual garden tours offer a change of scene, new ideas plus inspiring stories and there are so many available to view at the moment.

  Laburnham X watereri 'Vossii': Ernie Janes (

The National Garden Scheme offers video tours of many gardens from all around the country that would usually have opened their gates to visitors at the end of May and through June. The beauty of these virtual tours is of course that you can be instantly transported along a meandering garden path or find yourself beneath a canopy of shrubs and trees in a place that would normally open only for a day or two and could take you hours to get there. With these video tours, you can get a real feel for the place and consider whether it’s worth an actual visit next year.

Some that feature wildlife garden areas or particularly naturalistic planting are:

1.   John Massey's garden in Staffordshire which features a four-acre area planted to encourage wildlife. Butterflies, Chaffinches, Jackdaws, Blackbirds, Tits, Moorhens and a toad all feature in his video!

2.   Some beautiful open wild flower meadows are showcased in the garden at Ysgoldy’r Cwrt in mid-west Wales, accompanied by some particularly beautiful bird song.

3.   Rhodds Farm in Herefordshire have filmed an absolutely charming video to music showing lots of “wild” looking areas and loose, naturalistic planting as well as wildflower meadows. 

4.   Intriguing nooks and crannies entice you around Goddards Green in Kent with lots of wafty loose garden planting, a pond with ducklings, woodland areas and beautiful perennial borders. A real virtual garden adventure. 

 There’s even tips from Welsh garden owner Sue Mabberley on how to make  the perfect compost!

Kew offer a huge variety of tours around their different gardens including their inspiring American Prairie project being planted from seed and the beneficial reasons for creating it. You can enjoy a “weekly wander” through Cambridge Botanic Garden and the English Garden magazine highlights some of its top picks for virtual tours here.

After all this sitting down video touring, you may have some new ideas for your own garden and ways in which you’d like to encourage more wildlife into it. If so, the RSPB offer lots of general tips on wildlife gardening as well as a FREE GUIDE: Welcome Wildlife to your Garden that you can order online. 

Time to get the iPad out for a change instead of the trowel!