TAKE some time out to stroll around some of the most beautiful gardens north Essex has to offer.

The National Garden Scheme has several special gardens opening this summer.

Horkesley Hall in Little Horkesley remains one of the more popular gardens to visit.

The romantic eight acre garden surrounds a classical house in a magnificent parkland setting.

Gazette: Iris at Horkesley HallIris at Horkesley Hall

The park also contains some rarer trees including a vast gingko and more than 50 varieties of iris from a disbanded National Collection.

Visitors can also enjoy home made cream teas and browse the extensive plant stall.

Admission to the gardens costs £6 for adults and children go free.

Two new Colchester gardens have been included in the scheme this year. On Sunday, June 5, Jankes House in Wakes Colne will be open from 2pm to 5pm.

This half acre country garden has a great mix of flowers, from roses to camassia, as well as shrubs, vegetables and fruit.

Gazette: Roses at Jankes House, Wakes ColneRoses at Jankes House, Wakes Colne

Botanical artwork by the garden's owner will also be available to purchase.

Entry to the garden costs £5 for adults, with children going in free.

The second new garden is Bucklers Farmhouse in Coggeshall, opening on Friday, June 10 and Sunday June 12.

Gazette: Collection of succulents at Bucklers FarmCollection of succulents at Bucklers Farm

This vast garden contains a yard, pond and an orchard, as well as a carefully curated garden containing shrub roses and perennials and an impressive collection of succulents.

The garden also contains a stunning topiary yew hedging feature, that has been used to build a charming knot garden.

Horkesley Hall is now closed to the public but private groups of more than ten can still arrange a visit.