The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens are truly ” Garden for All Seasons. ”
The gardens are beautiful throughout the year, even when in repose in wintertime, but snow adds an extra dimension to any visit.
Just walking through the garden is peaceful with robins tame and trusting who will feed from the hand, if you keep still and don’t frighten them. This friendly little Robin adds a splash of colour against a blanket of snow.
Signs of spring brought a sense of optimism, until the ‘ Beast from the East ‘ struck, temperatures plummeted and sub zero temperatures brought snow over several weekends. This change in the weather caught out some early bloomers, which shone bravely through the layer of snow.
As the soil temperature falls, muting the colours with the trees and plants in the garden entering their winter sleep, the Centenary Border has a last burst of colour. The gardens are about to display a few quiet months, presenting a different aspect.
Whenever you visit there is something special, as you walk through the slumbering beds. Yet even then buds are visible on the Rhododendrons, waiting for the returning sun to awaken the spring growth around them, encouraging them to burst forth and heralding another colourful pageant to play throughout the coming year.
What could be more satisfying, returning home with tingling toes and hands, looking forward to sitting by the fire with hot buttered toast and tea, looking forward to next spring in the gardens !
Words & photographs : Tony Knight photography & MEDIA.