I only have ONE criticism of Hyde Hall, and I’m going to start with it, because it makes sense to.

When you first walk onto the site, you have no idea the beauty, diversity and exhilaration that awaits you. The entrance paths are rather scant and potentially ‘landscapey’ but, as a plantsman, I need my first stimulus a lot earlier! For the first 5 minutes walking through the garden, I must admit I felt ‘this garden isn’t for me’.

But, then, I turned a corner and WOW! My first treat was the New Zealand gardens, with their fantastic layers, shapes and metallic colours! Prehistoric-looking Solanum towered over Carex and Uncinia, whilst unsung Haloragis jostled for attention with crispy Pittosporum!

The garden continued to wind on; through a courtyard with a very tempting restaurant, some gargantuan terracotta pots, a sexy succulent display and through some pergolas to the most pristine (and bouncy) lawn I’d seen for a while. Should I go left towards THE Hyde Hall or right to the parterres?

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I chose right, and was stopped in my tracks by the 5 separate colour-themed herbaceous borders. A feast for the eyes, and ingeniously planted with not just standard perennials, but also with a smattering of tender exotics too! Some highlights were frothy Thalictrum and the explosive Hakonechloa! There must have been 20-30 different specimens in each compartment; with a myriad of shapes and textures; but with not one overpowering another!

My senses were also being assaulted from behind too, where the parterre houses a rose garden, which was still looking fab for September! You cannot beat the smell of a pure English rose! That novel Rhapsody in Blue variety was in its full glory too!

As I was the fool who didn’t take the map from the info desk, I continued to wander semi-aimlessly and soon found the vegetable garden, which was a hive of activity! I’d sure love to see how the arch of squashes turns out in the next month or so!

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Returning back into the main garden, I found the house surrounded by a lot of late summer blue and yellow, a contrast that works well but is not necessarily to my personal liking. You couldn’t deny the bright lights though! This time of year brings some stunning Rudbeckia, Kniphofia and Agapanthus. Then, another hidden area, the sunken garden… maybe I should have picked up a map! Here, I gave Primula florindae a sniff and confirmed a ‘sort of’ nutmeg fragrance!


Lastly, I walked through the area that I’d perhaps previously thought summed up Hyde Hall, the gravel gardens. How wrong I had been! However, this still looked pristine, with the signature Verbena bonariensis, wind-catcher Stipa gigantea and creeping alien-like plant, Euphorbia myrsinites.

Find out more about RHS Hyde Hall here.

And check out ALL the photos here.


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