The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, run extraordinarily well by Hampshire County Council, is an exceptionally varied, beautiful, diverse, botanically curated landscape with so much to recommend, at pretty much any time of year (their winter garden is a beauty and possibly the best in the UK).

An extended stay at Mottisfont and then the charms of Stockbridge meant we had just an hour and nearly a half in these glorious gardens (they do lock and bar the gates, so it would have been a lonely vigil ’til opening the following morn…).

But we did it sufficient justice, admiring the hugely long double herbaceous borders, Jermyns House and the Magnolia and conifer gardens, the woodland, some great Bamboo, the lake and lush planting thereabouts and the summer spectacle of the winter garden (you can have both).

Much to recommend and the depth and breadth of planting is really quite extraordinary. So often a rarer and more beautiful cousin to the plant you thought you knew …