The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Visit to Hiller Gardens near Romsey


A short walk around Sir Harold Hillier gardens, near Romsey, owned & run by Hampshire CC. The gardens were owned by Sir Harold, the same man as the garden centre chain, started as a pure arboretum but have evolved over the decades since his death

They cover around 180 acres so any visit would be hard pressed to see it all. Luckily I’m fairly local & have season ticket so can go as seasons dictate

This visit was in April

From car park

Into cafe, cup of tea, then out, cafe on left of picture

First item of interest is this cone, woven from wicker

This time of year the Winter Garden is a big attraction

They publish a leaflet with Plants of current interest, we followed some of them, this is one, a rare Hornbeam

Then walk in the general direction of Magnolia Glade passing these on the way

Continuing on the trail of Plants of interest was Corylopsis glabrescens [Fragrant Witch hazel], there are several around the garden and have a subtle fragrance

Arrived at Jermyn’s House, there is a cafe plus outside lawn seating, and toilets, yay
The border at the front of the house is always planted up with seasonal flowers, plus a grape on the walls
Opposite is the Magnolia Avenue, this time of year with lots of blossom

Plus Crown Imperials in the borders

Nearby was this lovely Acer “Wilson’s pink dwarf”

And this one whose name I missed

Walking on we spotted this tree festooned in Mistletoe

Passing some old trees with interesting lichen growth on them

Meandering above and past the Himalayan Valley there is a small area, panted in memory of a young worker, in summer it will be a butterfly haven but this time of year gave a good view of the pond, which may be obscured by foliage come summer

Onto the educational area used by school groups, the entrance is via this imposing metal arch

Close up of some detail

And finally on way out, this forsythia just begging to be “snapped”

More blog posts by grandad_gardener

Previous post: Gooseberry, bush to Standard

Next post: Pears promise?



Would love to visit there GG. I have been lucky enough to visit Chelsea Flower Show three times, and the Hillier Stand is absolutely my favourite show feature. It combines the beauty of the show gardens, the expertise of the plant nurserymen stalls and the glamour of the floral displays. It is always absolutely wonderful! And what's more, you get to walk right around and through it, unlike the show gardens!

7 Apr, 2019


Grandad Gardener: We used to visit regularly when the place was not so "commercialised". I don't mean that as a form of criticism: it's just that it was so like walking round a friend's garden with unkempt areas. Since that time things have changed but a visit is still worthwhile. The last time we were there with friends they bought us a tulip tree as we had admired one we saw in the garden.

Across the main road used to be an area filled with Spring shrubs: azaleas, rhododendrons and magnolias. Are visitors still welcome there?

( Have you been to Exbury Gardens recently? Have been told the magnolias are magnificent this year.)

7 Apr, 2019


A beautiful place it looks to visit educational centre too which is great thanks for sharing your day out I love that deep red Camelia. .

7 Apr, 2019


Eirlys, yes the area over road is still open, but I don't go over there. In fact there was a "current interst" plant listed as being over there, but gave that one a miss

We used to go when it was muddy paths etc same as you did, but TBH with Grandchildren and walking diffulties I prefer it as it is now

Not been to Exbury recently, reading in RHS journal it seems Exbury had a recent makeover as well, to provide more than just spring colour

I think all, except maybe a few very specialised ones, will have to go more family friendly in many ways now subsidies have dried up they have to attract more than the enthusiast pounds

7 Apr, 2019


Lovely - easy to see why you have a season ticket!

7 Apr, 2019


What a wonderful place. Well worth a visit.

8 Apr, 2019


that is on my bucket list along with Sissinghurst and Great Dixter.

8 Apr, 2019


Looks like superb gardens and the Witch Hazel is glorious.

9 Apr, 2019


Thanks for sharing your photos .. looks a lovely place to visit.

10 Apr, 2019


Grandad: They used to have lovely shrubs "across the road". We always visited and often were the only ones there. {People didn't seem to know about that section then.

Daughter offered to take us to Exbury but OH would need a wheelchair though there was a little tractor-like vehicle when we last visited. On foot one can often take the wrong turning and end up seeing very little but walking a lot. The best section is not far from the mansion. There are some spectacular shrubs there.

11 Apr, 2019


Eirys, I know what you mean about Exbury, can spend time just in woods, there is a sunkne rockery there but no idea if that was even wheelchair accessible. Now I use a stick I notice, never even looked before

12 Apr, 2019


Wonderful ! It looks an interesting place. I would love to visit there. Pity it's so far away.
Sorry I've missed your nice blogs. I haven't been on here for a while.

14 Apr, 2019


Quite close to where I live, sometimes go into the garden centre there.

14 Apr, 2019

Add a comment

Recent posts by grandad_gardener

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    19 Aug, 2018

  • Gardening with friends since
    25 Feb, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Oct, 2013

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Feb, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 May, 2013

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    2 Nov, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    13 May, 2014