Hampshire bursts onto the national 2016 Year of the English Garden scene…

Hampshire has burst onto the national 2016 Year of the English Garden scene in a riot of colour, after we launched our new Hampshire Highlights leaflet and this website.

A garden-lovers’ destination in the South East of England, Hampshire is associated with some of the great names in gardening history, from the Rothschilds’ at Exbury to Sir Harold Hillier near Romsey.

Along-side our own projects, Visit Hampshire features a comprehensive round-up of all of the stately homes and gardens across the county on its website, and some of the more intimate Hampshire gardens can be found on the National Gardens Scheme website.

Six of the best that are featured in our brand new Hampshire Highlights leaflet, and on the VisitHampshire website, meanwhile, include:

-The world famous woodland gardens of Exbury in the New Forest, where visitors come to smell the heady aromas and see the stunning colours of The Rothschild Collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias as they burst into bloom in spring.

-At the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, meanwhile, there is an amazing displays of more than 42,000 different plants set within a 180-acres garden paradise, including a Bog Garden, Heather Garden, Hydrangea Walk, Himalayan Valley and Acer Valley – along with one of Europe’s largest Winter Gardens.

-The 12th century priory setting of the National Trust’s Mottisfont Abbey, near Romsey, is one of Hampshire’s best loved gardens.  People flock here every summer to see its stunning rose garden with an amazing variety of wonderfully perfumed roses in a range of vibrant colours and delicate hues.  Equally popular is the Winter Garden at Mottisfont, as well as a riverside walk which takes visitors on a tranquil and tree-lined stroll along the banks of the River Test.

-More intimate gardens in Hampshire, with a bigger story to tell, include the beautifully maintained gardens atJane Austen’s former home at Chawton; and the gardens at Gilbert White’s House in Selborne which helps to introduce the world’s first ecologist to a steady flow of visitors.

Houghton Lodge Gardens is one of the most beautiful houses and gardens in Hampshire, offering both formal and informal gardens – including a peaceful Walled Garden with ancient fan-trained fruit trees and a giant espaliered pear tree enclosed by a historical chalk cob wall.  The rose arbour, peony walk, 300-foot herbaceous border and the semi-formal box-hedging that makes up the Peacock Topiary Garden are other highlights.  Mown paths allow visitors to enjoy the natural wildlife of the peaceful Test Valley through 15 acres of ancient water meadows.

Download our new Hampshire Highlights gardens leaflet here.

And anyone tempted to visit the county will find a full range of places to stay at http://www.visit-hampshire.co.uk/where-to-stay.