RHS Hyde Hall.
In 1955 when Dr and Mrs Robinson came to Hyde Hall in 1955 there were only six trees on the top of a windswept hill and no garden. They donated the 42-acre garden, Hyde Hall, to the Royal Horticultural Society in 1993. We visited there in August 2012 during our garden tour of Essex and East Anglia.
A dry garden was created in 2001 by Mathew Wilson, curator at the time, it aimed to show visitors how they can work with the environment and use drought-tolerant plants.
This path leads into the dry garden, described as one of the crowning achievements of Hyde Hall.
Work began in the winter of 2000, which ironically was one of their wettest winters. It is home to more than 400 different species of plant.
The garden has been built on a south-facing slope covering 0.4 acres, using Gabbro boulders and subsoil mounded over the rubble.
The topsoil was mixed with grit and sand to offer a free-draining environment for the plants.
On summer days, with the rolling hills in the backdrop, the garden looks rather like a Mediterranean outcrop, and it’s easy to forget that you are in the heart of Essex.
In spring, the garden shines with golden Euphorbia, conifers are included for winter interest and drought tolerance, while in summer it turns purple as Verbena bonariensis attracts hosts of butterflies and ornamental grasses towers high above the garden.
Such as the wonderful Stipa gigantea below. Alliums are planted for spring colour with Agapanthus, which you just see on the left for later in the year. Also on the left is Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ which provides colour over a long season.
Echinops ‘platinum blue’ and Verbascum olympicum enjoy these conditions.
Also, the beautiful Crinum Powelli is here with Eryngium planum.
From here you could look down onto the gravel or scree garden which had more recently been developed.
Some of the stars up close.
Hyde Hall is well worth a visit if you are in the area, this is only one of the many inspirational gardens within its boundary. Do you have any drought tolerant stars shining in your garden?