Councillor Keith Mans, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “Sir Harold Hillier Gardens boasts a world-renowned plant collection which is thriving year-on-year thanks to the dedication and talent of staff, volunteers, Curator David Jewell and Head Gardener Fran Clifton, led by Director Clare Goddard. I am delighted that they have once again received the recognition they deserve, and strongly encourage people to pay a visit to experience this exceptional venue for themselves”.
The 180-acre garden and Arboretum near Romsey were established in 1953 by the distinguished plantsman Sir Harold Hillier, and showcases flowers, trees and plants from all over the world. It is home to some 14 national plant collections and more than 600 champion trees – the largest collection of any garden in Britain; champion trees being the best examples of their species. The Gardens have been under the sole trusteeship of Hampshire County Council since 1977.
In this year’s judging, the In Bloom assessors noted that “the Gardens have in recent years achieved an exceptionally high grade in the competition”, and that “the whole garden area continues to maintain this quality”. The assessors further noted that the new developments in the Gardens – such as a new restaurant which will open in spring 2021 and the upcoming creation of a ‘frontier garden’ featuring plants at the limits of outdoor hardiness in the British Isles – will most likely enhance these standards in future years as a year-round attraction.
For more information about planning a trip the Gardens, becoming a Gardens member, or volunteering, visit hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/hilliergardens