About the garden
Run by Hampshire County Council as the sole trustee under the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens charitable trust. This is one of the most important modern arboretums and gardens in the UK. It is listed as having the biggest collection of Champion Trees in the whole of Britain and Ireland, with 611 'Champions'. It is home to an amazing collection of 14 National Collections including Quercus, Pinus, Cornus and Metasequoia, to name a few.
It has a collection of more than 12,000 taxa of wild and cultivated woody plants set in 73ha (180 acres), totalling 42,000 plants. The gardens were established in 1953 by the late plant hunter Sir Harold Hillier.
The long-established Winter Garden, at four acres, has just seen its 25th anniversary. Containing more than 650 different plants grown for their winter effect, it has been planted to show a wide range of plants that are at their best from November until March with a palette of dark, bold coloured stems, scent and foliage. Planting includes the National Collection of Hamamelis (witch hazels) and Cornus (dogwoods).
There are many features to be found in the garden that includes the collection of poplar trees called the Populetum; more than 100 pines (Pinus species), including the 'big cone' pine P. coulteri whose cones may weigh as much as two kilos; a maple valley; the largest winter garden of its kind in Europe and a Gurkha memorial garden. It is the sheer number of trees and shrubs here that make the most lasting impression every time you visit.
The garden also contains one of the longest mixed double perennial borders in Europe, the Centenary Border with herbaceous plants, bulbs, shrubs and trees. It is a garden for all seasons with something of interest throughout the year.