Like Three Acre Paddock, these areas were too steep to be used by the nursery and so were available to be planted early in the history of the Gardens. It is difficult to imagine this valley, now lined with Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Hydrangeas, Pieris, and many other fine plants, as a thicket overgrown with brambles when Sir Harold first arrived. The Peat Garden was created between 1964 and 1966 by terracing the steep bank with peat blocks and replacing the heavy clay soil with more free-draining compost. This made it possible to grow a wide range of ericaceous plants such as dwarf Rhododendrons.
A feature at the centre of the Peat Garden bank is Rhododendron 'Hampshire Belle', found about 1970 by a previous Head Gardener, Mr. E.W. ('Bill') George, as a seedling in Brentry Woodland. In May it is covered in a mass of lilac-pink flowers that completely obscure the foliage.
Our stunning all ability path leads from the pond and Himalayan Valley area up to Jermyn's House. We hope you will enjoy watching this area of the Gardens grow and develop as we continue planting up the banks surrounding the path and ponds.