A day at Hyde Hall

Last Tuesday I went off to RHS Hyde Hall for the Head Gardener’s Day. This is the third one of these jollies I’ve been to (last year’s blog post here) and yet again I had a lovely time. If you haven’t been to Hyde Hall recently do make a trip as it’s changing at a rate of knots.

Down near the humunguous visitor centre/shop/cafe there are two new courtyard gardens being created. These are intended to create some more intimate spaces near the buildings and to fix those buildings in garden space (rather than sort of floating on the edge in field/car park space as they were before). The beginnings of these gardens look promising; it’ll be nice to see them once they’re complete.

Newly laid out courtyard gardens at Hyde Hall

Courtyard gardens near the Visitor Centre

Two gardeners were busily creating paths while we were having a peek and they had a shiny new mini John Deere tractor, like a smart version of the beat up little thing I use. I wasn’t the only Head Gardener present who looked upon it with a certain envious glance and mutterings like ‘mumble mumble budget moan mumble new mumble mumble give my right arm mumble.’

Hyde Hall's dry garden extension

Extension to the dry garden – planted this Spring

The budget became a bit of a theme of the mumblings actually. A sort of awe at the many large projects and how ambitious they were and also at how bleedin’ expensive they were. Mind you, I’m glad there are organisations that can garden on this scale so this isn’t a criticism, it’s just that I’m not sure they want it to be the first place our minds went after ‘wow’. I can’t help being a little green with envy,  although then I remember that in order to use the budget there are many committees and meetings and proposals and other boring stuff at which point I go… eh meh keep your budget.

So moving onto a couple of plants I liked… This gorgeous purple Lobelia was in the shady Robinson garden, and I spotted another one in the colour schemed beds in the Hilltop Garden:

Lobelia x speciosus 'Vedrariensis'

Lobelia x speciosus ‘Vedrariensis’

And this is a favourite of mine:

Salvia uliginosa

Salvia uliginosa and friends

I must must must get some of it for myself or the Towers, but first I need a largeish gap as it’s quite a substantial plant. I always thought it liked a bit of damp but it’s in the dry garden at HH(but it’s been a wet year so who knows?).

This did remind me (at the wrong end of the season of course) that I really ought to visit more gardens. Not only that I ought, but that I do actually enjoy the process. Unlike one of my fellow HGs who shall remain nameless who said ‘the last thing I want to do on my weekend is anything to do with bloody gardens!’


3 responses to “A day at Hyde Hall

  1. Ah you have great taste (if I may so without appearing too toady). Salvia uliginosa is an absolute favourite of mine – and yep, I’ve grown it in pretty dry conditions also despite supposedly being the bog sage! I gave some to a friend a couple of years ago and they have kindly now given me some back as mine died last winter. Smashing plant and flowers for yonks. D

  2. the salvia is a real beauty – sage for the soul

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