Sir Harold Hillier Gardens – 2

Here is the next quarter of our year visiting the Hillier gardens.  Having bought a subscription in October, we are visiting every month.  It is proving to be a wonderful journey through the seasons.


One of the great things about Hilliers is that just walking from the car makes you reach for your camera….I don’t know what these yellow flowers were but they were like drops of sunshine on a grey day.



I do love Hellebores and I do prefer the nodding ones even if I have to stoop to investigate the flowers more closely!

As mentioned in my previous post, Hilliers is renowned for its winter garden and  there is plenty of colour there throughout the winter month. However,  the Pinetum is one of my favourite places to go in the winter.  There is a range of greens and textures in conifers that is very satisfying.  Sadly, not so visible in the picture.


There are also these sculptures dotted around the garden but mainly in the Pinetum.  These represent pinecones and seed heads and blend so well with their surroundings.


This was the sight that greeted us on the approach to the entrance to the gardens…


Purple and white crocuses in great drifts.


I was expecting snowdrops, and I got snowdrops……….


I have a great fondness for snowdrops and am sad they will not grow in my own garden no matter what.

I have mentioned before that I love trees in winter, and this applies to other plants too.  Just look at these examples of colour without  flowers.



Walking down to the large pond, we stopped to have a look at the fish.  There are normally loads of them visible in the murky depths.  Not a single one…..puzzling. Then I saw this up in a tree nearby….


It may not be obvious from my not-so-great photo, but it’s a heron perched on a tree overhanging the pond (what do they do with their legs?!).  Certainly explained why the fish were nowhere to be seen.

And then onto one of  my favourite plants in the garden, the paperbush tree, Edgeworthia crysantha.

I think of this as the Star Trek tree as I think it would have looked very much at home with the paper boulders etc..


More and more flowers appearing already in the gardens as we move towards spring.

Lots of blues and yellows.




Some yellows were very familiar.

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Others more unusual

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Sophora Microphylla (Sun King)

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Rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias are all coming into flower.  The magnolia avenue is just showing a promise of what it will be like in a week or two.

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Especially interesting was the Magnolia campbelli which is a species which may not start flowering until it is 30 years old but when it does, the flowers are enormous.


(got J’s hand for scale)

As spectacular and flashy as all the above are I find as much pleasure in these primulas, flowering their hearts out with the deep red of the peonies just coming through.



Just before I leave you, here is the Edgeworthia crysantha again, its flowers are just going over now.


Apparently the fibres from the bark fibres are used for making the handmade Japanese tissue called “mitsumata paper”.  Mitsumata is used for banknotes as the paper is very durable.  Amazing stuff.

Can’t believe it’s already been half a year at Hilliers.  Hope you enjoyed the visits!











































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