FAMOUS gardens in Romsey have scooped gold in the annual South and South East in Bloom Awards for the sixth time.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Jermyns Lane, was praised by the In Bloom assessors for their new developments, particularly a new restaurant that will open in spring 2021 as part of a £1.3 million scheme.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Keith Mans, said: “Sir Harold Hillier Gardens boasts a world-renowned plant collection which is thriving year-on-year thanks to the dedication and talent of staff, volunteers, Curator David Jewell and Head Gardener Fran Clifton, led by Director Clare Goddard.

"I am delighted that they have once again received the recognition they deserve, and strongly encourage people to pay a visit to experience this exceptional venue for themselves.”

The In Bloom assessors highlighted “the Gardens have in recent years achieved an exceptionally high grade in the competition”, and that “the whole garden area continues to maintain this quality”.

They also noted the upcoming 'frontier garden’, featuring plants at the limits of outdoor hardiness in the British Isles, could help transform the location into a year-round attraction.

This comes after Romsey holidaymakers who opted for a staycation this year were invited to travel the world among flowers, trees and plants from across the globe this summer.

Many plants from Sir Harold's visits to countries, such as Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, the United States of America, and Mexico grow in the Gardens today.

The 180-acre garden and Arboretum near Romsey were established in 1953 by the plantsman Sir Harold Hillier, and showcases flowers, trees and plants from all over the world.

Started in 1953 by the plantsman Sir Harold Hillier, the Gardens have been under the sole trusteeship of Hampshire County Council (HCC) since 1977.

For more information about planning a trip to the Gardens, becoming a Gardens member, or volunteering, visit hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/hilliergardens