Thanks to its dramatic landscape and unique conditions, the Lake District has a long history of distinguished gardens in many different styles. While the lakes and mountains make unbeatable backdrops, the reliable moisture and peaty soil are ideal for a large range of plants. This book features over 40 gardens, all open to the public, that exemplify this heritage. Among the gardens are 17th-century Levens Hall, renowned for its topiary; picturesque gardens such as Rydal Hall; woodland and parkland gardens; gardens made by Wordsworth and Ruskin; grand 19th-century rhododendron gardens; elaborate gardens designed by or in the style of Thomas Mawson; and contemporary plantsman's gardens. On the western coastline there are gardens in Mediterranean or subtropical styles. The garden descriptions include each owner's choice of favourite plants, with explanations of the plants' virtues and the purposes and situations for which they are suited. Taking readers beyond the lakes and fells to some less well-known treasures, this book is for gardeners and visitors to the area alike.