Set in 180 acres near Romsey, the award winning gardens also recently reached another milestone when it welcomed 200,000 visitors in a year for the first time – a 40% increase from 140,000 visitors in five years.
Over 13,000 of these visitors were local schoolchildren on educational day trips to the world renowned gardens with its 400 champion trees and 14 National Plant Collections.
The Leader of Hampshire County Council and Hillier Gardens Trustee, Councillor Roy Perry, joined Hillier Gardens Director, Wolfgang Bopp, and staff to congratulate them on their success.
Councillor Perry said: “Congratulations to the team at Hillier Gardens for reaching this significant milestone. These numbers reflect how the gardens are growing in popularity, with visitors returning repeatedly for seasonal highlights.
“In our 40th year since the County Council became their sole trustee, we are very proud that the Gardens remain rooted in the ethos of its founder Sir Harold Hillier – with the focus on horticulture, conservation, education and recreation.”
Members of Hillier Gardens can enjoy benefits including unlimited access to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, complimentary admission passes, What’s On brochures and regular newsletters as well as coach trips to other UK gardens. Children under 17 are free when accompanied by a member.
Individual adult annual membership to the gardens by Direct Debit is £32, meaning that with individual standard gift aid entry at £10.40, a member’s fourth visit and onwards is free.
Those visiting Hillier Gardens this summer can also enjoy seeing new sculptures in Art in the Garden, which returns for its 18th year and runs until 15 October. The exhibition includes sculptures made from glass, ceramic, marble, copper and recycled materials by local, new and established British sculptors and artists from overseas.
The Gardens and Arboretum near Romsey were established in 1953 by the distinguished plantsman Sir Harold Hillier, and have been under the sole trusteeship of Hampshire County Council since 1977.Discover more about Sir Harold Hillier Gardens including how to become a member and volunteer.