A year of Garden visiting part 3
It’s all about the plants.
Following on from a visit to BBC Gardeners World Live 2019, we set our horizons a little further away from home, a short break away for a few days was planned. I set my sights on a few days away Southwards and planned to visit a few gardens whilst there.
We made our way all the way south to visit Exbury Gardens, we had seen some coverage of these gardens during the Chelsea Flower Show preview program on the BBC, Exbury is a very lush garden comprising of woodlands and some formal planting. Many seasonal plants don’t get winter protection as the climate is so mild it’s just not needed.
Exbury has a mini railway that winds its way through part of the gardens, but you have to travel on foot to appreciate all that grows there, an abundance of blue flowering hydrangeas, mature trees, masses of Rhododendrons, some formal lawns. A garden map was a necessity as it was easy to get disorientated amongst the dense plantings and end up faced with the estuary as we did several times. There was also an area of tropical plantings fiercely guarded by a potty Robin.
The next day we passed by Hillier Gardens and popped in for a visit, a much different landscape to Exbury the previous day. Hillier Gardens was very well attended by families, most of which appeared to be ignoring the “Don’t climb on the trees” signs dotted throughout the site. There was less diversity in plantings, but there were some stunning examples of different varieties of Trees & Shrubs throughout the site, Lots I’d only ever read about in Tree Guides.
Later in the day at Hilliers, we had a very nice, but very expensive mini tub of Blackberry Icecream.
There were various pockets of plantings throughout the site that were not just trees and shrubs, there were some fascinating giant bamboos and we did quite an extensive bog planting area surrounding a pond.
A month later, at the end of August 2019, we had a week away in Devon, this was to incorporate my birthday and a visit to RHS Rosemoor.
Our schedule was quite tight and we could only visit Rosemoor on one specific day, unfortunately, the weather pixies were against us, on the upside, it ensured we had most of the gardens to ourselves.
We also had the newly opened Cool Garden to ourselves, designed by Joe Thompson, the garden focused on water which was in abundance throughout the day.
I found many areas of Rosemoor were densely packed with interesting plants, many were subtropical and planted out for the warmer months, but it was easy to see by the size of some of those plants, that they never get moved inside, or suffer with frosts. Rosemoor is now my favorite RHS garden, they just need a much bigger cafe to accommodate all those senior citizens that descended whilst we were making our way towards the exit looking for a warming cup of tea.
I shall certainly make the effort to get back to Rosemoor in the near future, but perhaps I’ll take a flask with me next time.