THE SIR HAROLD HILLIER GARDENS

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Fragrance can catch you by surprise in a winter garden, and The Sir Harold Hillier Garden in Hampshire has lots of aromatic delights in store. “Fragrance is quiet, subtle but effective,” says Head of Collections, David Jewell. “It’s nice to walk around and be interrupted by the scent of a nearby daphne. Go for ‘Jacqueline Postill’, D. bholua or Sarcococca confusa.

“In winter it’s inevitable that we look to birches for a focal point. In a small garden, Betula albosinensis is a pinky, coppery-red colour with a peeling bark. 

“One thing that’s an absoute delight in any garden is snowdrop Galanthus nivalis and Cyclamen coum planted under a deciduous tree or shrub. 

“The trick with using bold stem colours on a smaller scale is to go
for repetition – use three cornus on the left and three on the right and visually they’ll bounce off eachother. ‘Midwinter Fire’ can be planted at the far end of a garden to draw the eye, and ‘Anny’s Winter Orange’ is one
of the best. If in doubt, repeat!

“Conifers offer different shapes and outlines – you can use silver-blue Picea glauca albertiana ‘Conica’, which looks gorgeous covered in dew or frost, all year round. Or, go for balls and cones
of buxus. When the structure is laid bare these evergreen characters create the bones of the garden.

“But if you don’t have space for a tree, why not sink vertical railway sleepers into the ground and plant green and gold ivies at their base. These are great for delivering a strong vertical accent.”

FACTFILE
LOCATION Jermyns Lane, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 0QA OPEN Daily except 25–26 December, 10am-4pm. Adults £10.40 CONTACT 01794 369318; www.hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/hilliergardens