We have had the Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire on our bucket list of places to visit for a few years now so we decided that the summer of 2015 was the time to go. We had great expectations! But did it live up to them?
We arrived in heavy rain so made straight for the cafe and dawdled for even longer than usual over coffees and cake while keeping an eye, a “weather eye”, on what the rain was up to through the windows. We gave up waiting for a lull in the rain so donned waterproofs and wandered into the garden clutching the garden plan that was to get soggier and soggier as the day wore on.
The garden was simply brilliant so took our minds off the weather. When you wait so long to visit a place you feel set for disappointment but no such things here at the Hillier Gardens.
As we expected the trees were the stars. We wandered through the Winter Garden and on through the Acer Dell and stopped frequently to enjoy close up views of the huge range of trees. Within the trees though splashes of herbaceous colours shone through the gloom of the overcast and very wet morning.
We seem to have the knack of visiting gardens when there are sculpture exhibitions on and it happened to us again here. Sculpture always looks so good against trees and flowers. There was a huge variety of subject, material and style in the selection.
Spot the metal sculpture of a Little Owl among matching metallic leaved conifers.
The rain gave way to clouds mixed with sunny periods and we enjoyed the sight of raindrops on foliage. In part two we will continue our wanderings.