What Sir Harold used to describe as a small gully has been transformed into an atmospheric valley lined with Japanese and other maples and shaded by mature oaks. The season starts with a range of spring bulbs, the soft lime greens of the maples coming into foliage is accompanied by a haze of blue bells. In summer it is a shady, cool valley enjoyed by many before it turns into a spectacle of autumn colour of yellows, oranges and reds. Autumn and winter is also the time when you may find the typical maple fruits on the ground, you may even be lucky to see one or other descending to the ground in its typical helicopter fashion. Acer Valley is the gateway to the Pinetum.
Sir Harold was particularly fond of conifers, a passion he no doubt inherited from his father. In 1964, the Hillier Nurseries' centenary year, he published a small booklet entitled Dwarf Conifers and in the same year, the year of the International Conifer Conference, staged an exhibit at the RHS Halls. This contained more than 800 conifers and was awarded the Lawrence Medal. The Pinetum, affectionately known in its early days as 'Little Switzerland', was planted during this period.
Our young visitors to the Gardens will be delighted to find our stunning tree house in this area.