We started our exploration just east of the entrance, in the ‘Modern Country Garden’. This is a very structured ‘demonstration’ garden, with strong topiary shapes and plenty of pluming fluffy grasses.
As a birthday treat we took ourselves off to RHS Hyde Hall last weekend. There’s so much to see and explore in the gardens that I feel myself torn in multiple directions. Steve let’s me run around from area to area, indulging my enthusiasm, while he sedately follows an efficient route on a map!
It’s about a year since we last visited, but it felt like a lot had changed. A number areas are beginning to enter maturity, giving the site a more cohesive feel. Previously, I’d been blown away by the phenomenal variety of treasures growing in the Global Vegetable Garden. There were still plenty of new things to discover there, but the boundary hedge and exotic fruit bushes and trees surrounding the plot were more noticeable, making the area more intimate and protected.
This visit also revealed a completely new garden, quietly plotted and developed in an area of earthworks, threaded by paths and laced with a backbone of young trees. It is a Winter Garden, a celebration of the transformations caused by the coldness of winter and themed by the skeletonisation of leaves. It opened in winter 2018 and will draw me back this winter no doubt.
So I thought I’d share are some vignettes from our visit:
These dahlias weren’t in any flower borders, but rather in one of the raised beds in the ‘Global Vegetable Garden’. It may surprise you, but you can eat the tubers. Apparently dahlia crisps are rather nice too!
The Global Vegetable Garden is divided by geographical area. This is Quinoa (I’ve never seen it growing before) in one of the Americas beds.
The glorious glasshouse at the middle of the circular vegetable garden.
On-trend succulent table centres at the cafe, of course
The hot end of the spectrum in the ‘Herbaceous Borders’
A beautiful wind sculpture marks one end of the ‘Millennium Avenue’
There are various impressive planters about the formal areas. I really liked this salvia/dianthus combination.
The Dry Garden on a SW slope is buffeted by prevailing winds. These plants are tough!
A section of the Dry Garden showing the effectiveness of verbena, gaura and stipa. As we walked along the path scores of Painted Lady butterflies flew about us. Magic!
A favourite from the formal Rose Garden
The little courtyard garden between the Barn and upper pond is filled with rainbow coloured flowers
Here’s a close-up of one of the beds. Towering over the centre of each of these formal bed was Amicia zygomeris (sadly out-of-focus in the background of this photo). I rather fancy trying this next year, so I’ve made a note to find out how to grow it. Any advice?
Asters are starting to unfurl in the borders. I love this Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Violetta’, already covered with bees …
And this Bupleurum fructicosum (thanks Liz) looks like a tremendously useful plant
There were several patches of labels growing in gravel!
This time we discovered a new garden to explore: The Winter Garden. It opened in Winter 2018
The Winter Garden’s (all-weather) path has been landscaped to meander along a sheltered vale and is decorated with leaf sculptures (at different stages of skeletonisation). Copious large, wooden seats mark the bends of the route and lyrical information boards highlight aspects of the season.