A Focus on Winter Gardens

This event explored winter gardens – what they are, how they are created and maintained, and why they can enhance any designed landscape. We visited three highly regarded winter gardens over two days – from the long-established winter garden at Cambridge University Botanic Garden to the highly acclaimed winter garden and walk at the National Trust’s Anglesey Abbey and the relative newcomer at RHS Garden Hyde Hall.

Winter gardens demonstrate that gardens can provide interest all year round! Using brightly coloured bark, winter-flowering and often scented shrubs, evergreens with unusual leaves, late/early-flowering bulbs, and even sculpture and man-made features, winter gardens expand the season for many destination gardens and demonstrate the range of plants that are available for year-round interest. Winter gardens can also provide interest in other seasons and this multifunctionality lends itself particularly well to small gardens.

Read more about the changes taking place at Anglesey Abbey or read Tom Freeman’s blog for PlantNetwork on the RHS Hyde Hall Winter Garden, including an alternative winter interest planting list.

We toured the three gardens and had presentations from those who created or maintain the gardens. We also heard about the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens Winter Gardens from David Jewell, with suggestions on plants to try for impact all year round but especially during winter. The presentations and further information from the day are included below.