My man took me on a spa weekend near Chelmsford, so I couldn’t help but suggest we took an afternoon out to explore RHS’s Hyde Hall.
Autumn is by far my favourite time of year. Crisp, colourful leaves falling everywhere (which also make great mulch for your garden!), putting on a pair of wellies and tumbling around in them. However, now it’s December it’s definitely turning into winter, but I’m still enjoying the beautiful views. Trees looking a little barer and your frosty breath outdoors. Perfect time for wrapping up in tons of knitwear and drinking mulled wine.
The weekend we were there was the ‘Christmas Sparkle gift fair’. Perfect timing to pick up little gifts for friends and family. They have loads of events on, each week a different one, so definitely plan your visit. There was a lot of Christmas related bits and bobs with every corner you turned, like these cute wooden reindeers – it got me in the Christmassy mood!
We also arrived on a weekend that offered us 2 for 1 on entry. Bonus! The staff were all so friendly too and everywhere you went there was someone on hand to open a door or help with any queries.
We moseyed around for over an hour finding little pathways around the different sections of the grounds. We could have spent many more hours there, but unfortunately the wind was reaching crazy miles an hour, and they had to close a few woodland areas due to danger. (perfect excuse to go back for another visit I guess!)
There are over 300 acres of ground to cover, and it’s the largest RHS garden in the UK, hosting some of The Chelsea Flower Show too.
We stumbled across this cute homemade ‘hotel’ for the insects over winter- 5* luxury!
We walked around finding spots of colour amongst the beds and varieties of plants that I’d never heard of before. It was nice to come in winter and see what works well at this time of year. I always thought winter was the time to escape the garden and leave until spring, but there are still things gardeners can do. Even if the ground is unworkable, pruning, seed prepping (especially if you have a greenhouse) and tidying areas can be executed.
Amazing Rosa plants still in bloom, and trees full of colourful berries. I really want some of these for my garden next winter.
They have a lovely restaurant in a thatched roof barn. They serve hot and cold foods, and afternoon teas. I can imagine the outdoors area being perfect for a lunchtime visit in the warmer months.
Once we finished wandering, we walked back up to the entrance to find the Christmas gift fair. It was smaller than I’d expected, but still lovely homemade gifts and ideas to browse. There was a particular jewellery stand that I fell in love with! Cute little pendants with cut up stories and quirky pictures inside the glass. Of course we stopped for a mulled wine too! Again, everyone was so friendly and smiley. Must be Christmas soon…
To be honest, the experience of the gardens was a little disappointing, but I think that was down to the weather and certain areas being closed off. I’d definitely like to visit some of the other gardens around the UK and venture back to Hyde Hall in the summer when it’s full in colour! And it definitely gave me some inspiration for a winter garden.
Have any of you folks been there in the summer months? Let me know your experience or recommendation of other lovely gardens in the UK