As I was out in the local town of Romsey yesterday and the sun was shining, I decided to go for a coffee at Hillier’s Gardens. I have to confess that I wasn’t expecting there to be much to see this time of year but boy was I pleasantly surprised. Naturally, sunshine alone can lift the heart this time of year! But I think though, that going with zero expectations may have been the key.
May of the areas I normally associate with masses of lush growth were relatively empty, making the place seem more open and larger. The iPhone panoramic shot above depicts an area that is hidden by enormous clumps of Gunnera in summer. The only evidence of the plants now, is their dormant and tender crowns cocooned with some of there own leaves against the cold. Quite sculptural in a way. This emptiness has allowed the gardeners to create a small boardwalk, through the plants, to a woven willow viewing platform. I’ve made a mental note to visit this area through the seasons and chart its progress.
The richest colour that grabbed my attention, was the paper bark maple above, whose voile like peelings were shot through with the winter sun!
I’m pretty sure I’ll be making further winter visits here…………especially on those rare sunny days.