The Garden Guide

RHS Garden Hyde Hall

Photograph © RHS
Photograph © RHS
Photograph ©
Photograph ©
Photograph © Pete Duxon
Photograph © Pete Duxon
Photograph © Pete Duxon
An Essex farm house which was made into a garden after 1955 and then taken over by the RHS. It has lawns, a dell, a lily pond, raised beds, mixed borders and other features. A surprising number of plants flourish on a windy dry hill but the construction details are not good and one looks forward to seeing what improvements result from RHS management. There is much scope.

Head Gardener's Comment

With sweeping panoramas, big open skies and far reaching views this Essex garden is an inspiration to visitors of all ages. The garden boasts an eclectic range of inspirational horticultural styles from traditional to modern, providing interest and colour, whatever the weather or time of year. Highlights include the traditional styled Hilltop Garden with its lush green lawns, ponds and roses and the Mediterranean Dry Garden which showcases drought tolerant plants.


Helen and Dick Robinson moved to Hyde Hall in 1955 and found six trees on the top of a windswept hill. They soon became large scale farmers, but Helen also had an interest in gardening and slowly but surely a garden started to emerge around the main farmhouse. The Hyde Hall Gardens Trust was set up in 1976 and then in 1993 the garden became the responsibility of the Royal Horticultural Society having been bequeathed by the Trust to ensure its future survival.

Plants of note

Roses Grasses Viburnum Mediterranean plants

Creephedge Lane, Rettendon, Chelmsford, Essex, England, CM3 8ET

Daily 10am - 6pm (4pm November to February). Closed Christmas Day.

2013 Prices Adults £7.20. Children (5-16) £3.60 Children 4 and under - Free Family (2 adults plus 2 children) £19.40 RHS Member - Free

Visit the RHS Garden Hyde Hall website

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  • over 4 years by Andy 4 / 5

    Lovely place to visit but take your own food if you are going to be there for a while, especially with children as the restaurant prices are pretty steep. Two ham salads though delicious and plenty of ham £17.90!!

    Sept 2011
  • about 5 years by Jan Fairweather 4 / 5

    I loved my visit. It was a late birthday present, left over from last October!

    I enjoyed the walking up to the higher levels and around the different areas. My friend lesley was writing down all the names of plants we were going Oh at.
    The most disappointing aspect was that when we got to the Plant Centre the plants were not in the areas of planting and many of our special needs were not there. We were so admiring of a gigantic Lamium with dusty pink huge flowers and haven't been able to find it yet...any help?
  • about 5 years by Anonymous 2 / 5

    Disabled access can be a problem. Today the special vehicle to take wheelchairs and their occupants was out of action and there was no alternative but to push it, with my mother in it, all the way up the long and steep hill to the restaurant and gardens.
    I suggest anyone with a wheelchair should telephone to check whether the special vehicle is operating before visiting. The car park is now a long way from the main garden area (compared with the previous closer location).
  • over 5 years by Julian Gurney 5 / 5

    I went for five stars as this is a garden to watch as there is a lot of new developement. Its always exciting to see good established gardens and witness creation going on in the landscape. Gives you something to go back for.
  • almost 6 years by Adam Hodge 3 / 5

    A garden in the making.

    Lots of good plantings and some 'interesting' ones. The Queen Mother garden especially was looking tremendous.
    I couldnt figure out the point of the direction of the Millenium Avenue seems to come from nowhere and go nowhere and one isnt inclined to participate in it. Notwithstanding ,nice choice of Oak tree !
  • almost 7 years by pete 3 / 5

    I have to agree with Mr Hopper the wall doesn't seem in keeping with the rest of the garden. Also the paths to the bee hives feel "scruffy".

    The rose garden is pretty and the lily pond is fine.

    money is being invested and this may take a while to "bed down"

    It didn't feel like a garden I could love.
  • about 8 years by George Hopper 4 / 5

    My wife and I have spent many enjoyable days, as we live within easy reach of Hyde Hall, which we have always admired. The woodland area now overtaken by the Robinson garden, was an absolute gem. The bank in spring was full of beauty, snowdrops, hyacinths, primroses, hellebores, and other lovely plants beneath the trees was a woodland paradise.
    Sadly the Robinson garden replaced it. It is completely out of character with the whole garden,
    and hideous in the extreme. Whoever 'designed' it has a strange sense of beauty. The wall has nothing to commend it - we hope it will soon be demolished and replaced with something more in keeping with the whole garden. Sad that it must have cost a fortune.

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