In our annual round-up, Brenda Watkinson takes a closer look at what’s blossoming in the gardening world.As the world’s oldest gardening charity, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has been inspiring a love of gardens for over 200 years and each of its four beautiful gardens – in Surrey, Essex, Yorkshire and Devon – make the perfect day out for groups.
Whether you’re looking for a simple garden visit or a more tailor-made experience, the RHS can arrange a visit from a private tour to a ‘Gardeners Question time’ session, or perhaps a delicious cream tea. An exciting year-round calendar of events ranging from Flower Shows and Rose Festivals to craft events and seasonal garden trails is also on offer at each garden.
Set in the heart of Surrey, RHS Garden Wisley has over 200 acres to discover, and its countless different styles mean the gardens are a delight throughout the year. Enjoy swathes of bulbs and blossom in spring, unforgettable mixed borders and roses in summer, savour autumn’s bountiful colours or visit in winter for frost-sparkled walks.
In Essex, just outside Chelmsford, the RHS Garden Hyde Hall boasts wide open skies and far reaching views, with some 360 acres to explore including a beautiful hilltop garden, herbaceous borders, a rose garden, a Mediterranean-inspired Dry Garden, and the Global Growth Vegetable Garden.
If you haven’t visited Hyde Hall recently, you may be surprised by the changes that have taken place over the last few years. Recent introductions include two courtyard gardens showing traditional and modern design techniques, and a new vegetable garden featuring unusual edibles from across the globe along with a bespoke octagonal glasshouse as its centrepiece.
The Visitor Centre has been expanded with new eating and shopping areas, and the Gardeners’ Rest, a restaurant looking out over the iconic Dry Garden and rolling Essex countryside will open this year and serve fresh, seasonal produce.
Meanwhile, on the outskirts of Harrogate set in a 68-acre glorious wooded valley, RHS Garden Harlow Carr captures the essence of Yorkshire within a beautiful garden setting while nestled in North Devon’s beautiful Torridge Valley, RHS Garden Rosemoor, is a hidden gem and a real treat for garden lovers whatever the season.
A fifth RHS Garden Bridgewater, is due to open in 2019 at the historic Worsley New Hall in Salford. The gardens are currently being restored under the direction of Tom Stuart-Smith and will include one of the largest Walled Kitchen Gardens in the UK.
- Belmont House and Gardens
- Borde Hill Garden
- Mount Ephraim Gardens
- Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
- Savill Garden
- Sussex Prairies Gardens
So come and say hello! Book your FREE place now, and up to six friends, before tickets run out!Book your FREE tickets!