Date(s) - 14/05/2015
10:30 - 14:00
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The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
Despite the rain, Rowledge Gardening Club members were not discouraged
Twenty-two members of Rowledge Gardening Club set off for their first garden visit of 2015 to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens run under the Trusteeship of Hampshire County Council, not to be confused with Hillier Nurseries.
Suitably prepared and dressed for inclement weather we arrived at the gardens. We all knew it was going to be a wet one! but how wet we had yet to experience. This time the weather men were unfortunately accurate to the minute.
Undeterred by the rain, we were warmly greeted by David Jewell at the Visitor Centre, from where we strolled to Jermyns House — the family home of the Hillier’s — to enjoy a welcome cup of coffee.
As we settled in the Oak Room, David our presenter and guide for the day started his talk with a short history of the house. David, head gardener for the past 5 years, then took us through “Hillier Gardens Through the Seasons” illustrated with some amazingly beautiful photographs.
With aerial views of the gardens and close up photographs of individual flowers and trees we experienced to name but a few elements of the garden’s 180 acres, the winter gardens and grounds with frost and snow; the springtime flowering of the magnolia avenue; the development stage by stage of the 250 metre long double bordered walk; and to be enthralled by the 100s of Champion Trees ablaze with stunning autumn colours.
Once David had finished his talk and answered members’ questions, we all then set off umbrellas in hand, for a guided tour of the grounds. We were to discover, even in the torrential rain, that the reality of the gardens far outweighed their photographic representation.
As the outing drew to a close, with group photo taken, garden plants and gardening books purchased, we concluded as we chatted over lunch, that with so much more to see and enjoy, we would certainly be revisiting the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens….. next time, hopefully in the dry!
15th May 2015
Photos with thanks to Diana Precious