That’s it I’m afraid – one large (albeit labelled) gallery – a pictorial tour of the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire earlier this month (well, a walk around some of it, but most of that put under the camera lens)….

The Hamamelis collection I stumbled across was in very fine fettle, the highlight of my visit really and unexpected, since I’d already had quite my fill of these curious flowering shrubs much, much earlier in the year and had wrongly assumed the show to be over. Far from it, these specimens were in their prime, for the most part, colourful and varied and showing a great variety of form (tall, vase shaped, spreading). A very attractive living catalogue.

I missed only some of the cultivars being grown in these extensive grounds, but there was much else to admire – the heathers and fragrant viburnums, much decorative bark and coloured stem – and blue skies to boot (though there was a brief hail storm).

These gardens sit just north of Romsey in Hampshire and my plan was to take in Mottisfont too (for their burgeoning Winter Garden) but the weather turned decidedly chill and the prospect of more rain (sleet?) pushed me past the gates. Travelling cross country through some of the prettiest villages, I did make it up to Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, my first visit, and marvelled at this extensive site – and bought three little Semiaquilegia Australian Form and a wine-red Coreopsis – before picking up the M3 and heading home.

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