An exciting programme of changes has been completed – making Hyde Hall an even more inspirational experience for visitors
RHS Garden Hyde Hall looks very different with the impressive installation of our state-of-the-art Learning Centre at the Hilltop Complex, the Global Growth Vegetable Garden, redesigned Welcome building and Winter Garden.
We hope these changes have made Hyde Hall a place you will want to visit year after year.
Global Growth Vegetable Garden
Designed by Suffolk-based garden and landscape designer Xa Tollemache, the new garden, sponsored by Witan Investment Trust, opened in summer 2017. Its circular design symbolises a globe with four quarters representing Europe & the Middle East, Asia, North & Central America and South America. At its centre is a bespoke octagonal glasshouse manufactured by Hartley Botanic.
The garden features a cornucopia of fruit and vegetables, challenging perceptions of conventional allotments with its range of everyday, exotic, and edible ornamental vegetables from across the globe. Planted in a combination of ground-level and raised beds, it will also test the boundaries of growing tender edibles in a dry Essex climate with heavy clay soil. Discover ten interesting edibles we're growing in the garden.
See a stunning array of fresh fruit and vegetables in an inspirational setting and discover where our food originates from. Gardeners can watch with interest as a wide variety of traditional and unusual produce develops through the growing season, while children can learn the concept of ‘plot to plate’.
See how this garden came to life, month by month.
Opened in spring 2017, visitors can now experience extra shopping areas and a re-styled café, making your visit with us even more enjoyable.
The Winter Garden, officially opened in 2018, is a celebration of the delights of winter with its radiant stems and leaves, peeling barks and dazzling berries. Coppiced willow, sculpted into interesting shapes, capture people's imagination, as does the frost-tinged summer perennials as they fade into winter dormancy. A journey through the garden allows visitors to take in the tranquil beauty of Clover Hill, the Lake and the stunning views up towards the Hilltop Garden.
Planting includes Prunus, Pinus, Acer, Cornus, Betula and Japanese cedar. One hundred different types of Cornus (dogwood) will be monitored as part of an RHS Trial to establish which varieties perform reliably. Those plants that give good all round performance will be awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
A major change has happened at the Hilltop Complex. The old farm buildings have been demolished, and a new restaurant and activity centre have been created. These are south-facing, with magnificent views over the garden and rolling landscape. On the north side of Hilltop Garden we have built the dedicated Clore Learning Centre so that we can help more children and adults experience the joy of gardening.
There's good reason for this – at Hyde Hall we are proud to welcome more than 325,000 visitors each year, including children on school visits. The Clore Learning Centre will mean we can support even more schools across Essex and the surrounding area. We've also created a new teaching garden, complete with sensory garden and dipping ponds, that will broaden the range of interactive learning opportunities.
Thanks to The Clore Duffield Foundation for their generous support, and to all those RHS Members and supporters who gave to the appeal to help build the Centre, and fund our ongoing education work.
Our next longer-term project:
Perennial Meadows (Big Sky Meadows)
Big Sky Meadows, an ambitious project which could eventually see us create up to 20ha (50 acres) of perennial meadowland. We hope to open the first planting area in 2019.
The creation of a large-scale cultivated perennial meadow will be a welcome addition to Hyde Hall’s rolling landscape. Radiating out from a majestic oak tree on the western hillside and connecting with the woodland fringes, it will have a relaxed, naturalistic feel with meandering grass pathways to explore. In time it will become a visual and sensual experience with its vast array of colours, textures and wildlife.
During the summer months visitors will be able to enjoy a relaxing stroll through this unique habitat with big open skies and far-reaching views. Gardeners will be able to admire the richness and diversity of species and children can have fun hunting for bugs and beasties and play hide and seek.
The perennial meadow will include hundreds of species from Africa, North America and Europe and key plants to look out for include Agapanthus, Gazania, Echinacea, Panicum, Euphorbia and Kniphofia. The peak period of interest will be from mid-May to the end of August, followed by autumnal colours and textures.
If you would like to help our work at Perennial Meadows, please make a donation next time you visit the garden, call our team on 020 7821 3125 or donate online
To find out more about supporting RHS Garden Hyde Hall, please contact the fundraising team