Groups can enjoy an uplifting spring day out at an RHS garden filled with bulbs, blossoms and special events. From the Royal Horticultural Society’s historic home RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, to the wide open spaces of RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex, there are also a range of Spring Flower Shows to kick-start the flower show season.
Melissa Hackney, Group Sales and Marketing Manager said, “Spring is one of the most popular times to visit our gardens as they all show new signs of life and wonderful spring displays, which makes a fabulous day out for groups. With coach-friendly status and plenty of options for group activities from an organised tour to special catering packages, we’re always delighted to welcome groups to enjoy the gardens, and there are also some lovely Spring Flower Shows to choose from in Cardiff and Malvern.”
RHS Garden Wisley: the historic home of the RHS
With one of the largest plant collections in the world, RHS Garden Wisley was founded more than 100 years ago in the heart of the Surrey countryside. Wisley is famous for its spring displays with huge collections of magnolias and rhododendrons bringing colour to the woodland gardens, and generous swathes of bulbs carpeting the lawns and borders. April and May will see blossom and daffodils throughout the arboretum and a flourish of 15,000 tulips in the top terrace. May is also perfect time to see the garden’s iconic Wisteria, including a 75 metre Wisteria Walk featuring dark purple and mauve blooms.
The oldest and most diverse of the four RHS Gardens, its collections include cultivated plants of national significance as well as a fascinating blend of historical and modern and cultivated planting. RHS Garden Wisley is popular with groups for its unrivalled selection of plants and displays which continually change throughout the seasons.
Special events at RHS Garden Wisley include a Spring Plant Fair from 20 – 22 March, and a Spring Craft Fair from 29 April – 3 May. Prices from £12.20 per person when pre-booking groups of 10+.
RHS Garden Hyde Hall: a hilltop haven in the heart of Essex
This peaceful garden is a popular destination for groups, who enjoy the eclectic combination of gardens on offer at Hyde Hall. With its wide open skies and far reaching views, there are some 360 acres to explore. Highlights include the fascinating Mediterranean inspired Dry Garden, which showcases and array of drought tolerant plants that thrive in an area which is in the driest part of the UK.
Originally a farm, the garden was gifted to the RHS 25 years ago and features a hilltop garden, rose garden, woodland, meadows and pasture that seamlessly stretch into the surrounding countryside. Reflecting its heritage links to edibles in the local area, there is also a Global Growth Vegetable Garden showcasing fruit and vegetables from around the world. Visitors in spring can expect to see daffodils, grape hyacinths and winter windflowers and the start of the season, with tulips, marsh marigolds and malus tree blossoms coming to life as the season progresses.
Special events in Spring include a Plant Heritage Fair on 25-26 April, an Alpine Show from 2-3 May, a Craft Fair from 3 – 6 May and an Anglian Potters Exhibition from 23-31 May. Prices from £9.50 per person when pre-booking groups of 10+.
RHS Garden Rosemoor: the perfect day out for groups
Nestled in North Devon’s beautiful Torridge Valley between Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks, Rosemoor is a hidden gem. In spring, the garden will be filled with fabulous colour from the wood anemones in the Upper Woodlands, with daffodils, rhododendrons, camelias and Japanese flowering cherries blossoming as the season progresses.
Spread across 65 acres, the original garden was created by by Lady Anne Berry over a period of thirty years and has continued to develop as a true plantsman’s garden. Areas of interest include Rosemoor’s 150 meter Long Borders, a vibrantly coloured Hot Garden, and a fascinating arboretum containing Lady Anne’s meticulous records of the origin of every plant in her collection. It is also consistently rated one of the best places in the UK to see roses.
RHS Garden Rosemoor is particularly popular for groups as part of a broader North Devon itinerary and offers a quintessential English garden experience.
Special events in Spring include a Spring Flower Festival from 14 – 15 March, the RHS National Rhododendron Show from 25 – 26 April, the Spring Craft Fair from 1-3 May and the Plant Heritage Plant Fair from 9-10 May. Prices from £7 per person when pre-booking groups of 10+.
RHS Garden Harlow Carr: Yorkshire’s must visit garden
Harlow Carr captures the essence of Yorkshire within a beautiful garden setting. Set on the outskirts of Harrogate in 68 acres of wooded valley, the garden inspires with its innovative design and creative planting. Spring begins with over 250,000 bulbs including snowdrops, daffodils, bluebells, iris, crocus, and grape hyacinths, before rhododendrons of all shapes and sizes emerge in May.
Initially laid out around the site of a Victorian hotel and bathhouse, the gardens were developed after the Second World War when the newly formed Northern Horticultural Society leased the land and opened it as Harlow Carr Botanical Gardens in 1950. Merging with the RHS in 2001, the garden has continued to develop with design features evoking the surrounding landscapes, including water features, dry stone walling and wooded areas.
RHS Garden Harlow Carr offers groups an authentic Yorkshire feel, with highlights including the colourful herbaceous borders, the Woodland Glade with its seasonal flourishes of rhododendrons, narcissi, foxgloves and giant Himalayan lilies, the Alpine House, a raised Kitchen Garden of fruit, vegetables, flowers and willow, and the walk along one of the country’s longest streamside gardens. There is also the popular Bettys Tea Room onsite for groups to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea as part of their visit.
Special events in Spring include a ‘Meet the Experts Cyclamen Day’ on 5 April and a Spring Gardening Weekend from 2-3 May, as well as a Plant Heritage Spring Fair. Prices from £9.50 per person when pre-booking groups of 10+, guided tours available at £3 per person for groups of 10.