Over the next few years, RHS Garden Hyde Hall will look very different with the impressive installation of a new Winter Garden, Global Growth Vegetable Garden (sponsored by Witan Investment Trust), Big Sky Meadow, a redesigned Visitor Centre and a state-of-the-art Learning Centre.
During this time there will be some disruption, but please bear with us as we’re working hard to make this garden a place you will want to visit year after year.
Global Growth Vegetable garden – sponsored by Witan Investment Trust
This highly anticipated garden features an octagonal Hartley Botanic glasshouse at the centre and is laid out in an unusual circular design. The official opening weekend will take place from 15 - 16 July 2017. More about the opening weekend
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.
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’.
Discover ten interesting edibles we're growing in the garden
New Visitor Centre
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 key structural trees and herbaceous plants have now been planted. In early summer, although not finished, we intend to open up the pathways so you can get a feel for what is to come with the area being officially opened in 2018.
The Hyde Hall Winter Garden will be a celebration of the delights of winter with its radiant stems and leaves, peeling barks and dazzling berries. Coppiced willow, sculpted into interesting shapes, will capture people's imagination, as will the frost-tinged summer perennials as they fade into winter dormancy. A journey through the garden will allow visitors to take in the tranquil beauty of Clover Hill, the Lake, and the stunning views up towards the Hilltop Garden.
Planting will include Prunus, Pinus, acer, Cornus, Betula and Japanese cedar.
The Winter Garden will also include around 100 different types of Cornus (dogwood) which will be monitored as part of a 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 is under way to the Hilltop Complex. The old farm buildings have been demolished, and groundwork is under way for the construction of a new restaurant and activity centre. These will be south-facing, providing magnificent views over the garden and rolling landscape.
On the north side of Hilltop Garden we want to build a dedicated 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 240,000 visitors each year, including 4,500 children on school visits. A lack of educational space, however, has meant we’re stretched to capacity, and have been unable to accommodate the 144 schools across Essex and the surrounding area.
Help us build the Learning Centre
Our Learning Centre will double the garden’s capacity for school visits. We have exciting plans to create a new teaching garden, complete with a sensory garden and dipping ponds, to broaden the range of interactive learning opportunities available for you and your family. But first we need to complete the fundraising - we have almost raised the £1.6 million cost and now have to raise the final £250,000. By supporting our project today you can enable everyone from toddlers to adults to be able to make use of these new facilities, and learn about horticulture in a unique and exciting environment.
If you would like to help, please make a donation next time you visit the garden, call our team on 020 7821 3125 or use our button to donate online. To find out more about supporting RHS Garden Hyde Hall, please contact the fundraising team.
Perennial Meadows (Big Sky Meadows)
One of our longer-term projects is the 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.
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.
The creation of a large-scale cultivated perennial meadow will be a welcome addition to Hyde Hall’s rolling landscape.
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 playing 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.