Yesterday I patted my little car on the bonnet and off we went together to RHS Hyde Hall. After getting a bit lost (as has happened every time I’ve gone to HH thus far) I arrived not really at all late for the RHS’s annual Head Gardener’s Day, scurrying up the path through the Dry Garden only stopping to go ‘ooh Eryngiums! I wonder if they’re E. tripartitum?’ and suchlike.
Having been crammed with tea and biscuits we were treated to a talk on the history and future of the garden by its curator Ian le Gros and then he and Ian Bull the Garden Manager took us on a tour of the perennials in the garden. As the soil at Layer Marney Tower is Essex clay, similar to that at Hyde Hall, it’s always interesting to see what thrives and what fails there. Apparently Echinacea don’t do particularly well which is disappointing as I have some waiting to be planted out.
I particularly like the Robinson Garden, with its greenness and rocky gabion walls covered in Clematis rehderiana.
The unusual walls are already making an excellent habitat for birds and beasties as well as plants. This is a fairly recent garden, and last year the plants were still growing into their spaces. This year it looks wonderfully lush and verdant.
One of the things they do particularly well at Hyde Hall is turf. Just look at that sward, baby.
Having seen these amazing lawns last year, and had a talk from their turf manager on how they do it, I’ve already made a few changes at the towers and seeing it again gave added impetus to my desire to improve our lawns. I shall try not to turn into a turf bore, I promise.
It was interesting to see the progress on the lake and areas around the shiny new shop/cafe/visitor centre. Last year the lake was a blue splodge on a very ambitious looking plan. This year the diggers are in:
I bet next year it’ll look like it’s been there forever.
This was my second ‘Head Gardener’s Day’ and, just like last year, I really enjoyed it. I got to commune with some fantastic gardeners, most of whom are WAY more knowledgeable and experienced than me, and I got to hear some interesting talks and get a behind the scenes view of an RHS garden and I came away just buzzing with ideas and enthusiam. Also, there was excellent cake.