The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey are essentially designed to show of the huge variety of specimens collected by Sir Harold. It is not a place to go to for inspirational landscape design; although it does have its moments.
But what a collection of plants: over 40,000 plants of more that 11,000 different types, and no less than 13 National Collections.
Starting with the plants collected by his father and grandfather at their nurseries in Winchester, Sir Harold bought Jermyn's House in 1951, and began expanding the gardens and arboretum in earnest in 1953.
In 1977 he made the garden into a charitable trust with Hampshire County Council the sole trustee. The Hillier Nurseries continue to thrive as an independent company, celebrating their 69th consecutive RHS Chelsea Gold Medal in 2014.
Starting with 41 acres, the gardens have slowly expanded and now cover 180, and pride themselves on providing interest throughout the year.
For opening times, admission prices, etc. please see the official site listed below.