The RHS Garden Bridgewater is located within the estate of Worsely New Hall, which was demolished in the 1940s. In 2017, the RHS began work to create a “world-class” garden for the Northwest of England, planning to reimagine the landscape was architect Tom Stuart-Smith.
Since its opening in May 2021, the RHS garden is now an excellent place for people to enjoy. With the vast depth and quality of horticulture, Bridgewater is marked as the garden for all seasons as there are still plants to enjoy in the winter as well as the summer. Over the coming months, there are bound to be hundreds if not thousands of blossoming plants and colourful bulbs. Right through to the end of the year, the garden promises to be a haven for gardeners to admire.
I first tried to visit RHS Bridgewater in August 2021; however, it was fully booked, which shows its popularity. I then managed to book tickets for the Glow event at the gardens, which showcased some of the gardens in beautiful lights just in time for Christmas. It was during the glow event, where my boyfriend and I became members of the RHS, so we could visit other RHS gardens and get tickets to the RHS Tatton flower show in the summer.
Our first ‘day’ visit to RHS Bridgewater was not disappointing; the welcome building is wonderful, with a little plant centre, cafe and gift shop. It is only when you walk out of the welcome building and into the Weston Walled Garden, that you notice how well laid out and vast the walled garden is. The Weston Walled Garden is one of the largest Victorian walled gardens in the UK.
The Weston Walled Garden is built up of inner garden walls, some of which occupy the Paradise Garden, the Kitchen Garden, the Community Wellbeing area and the Community Grow area. The walled garden has stood for around 180 years, but it was showing its age, so thanks to funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the walls have been restored and 80% of the original, non-standard bricks salvaged.
At RHS Garden Bridgewater, there is a Community Wellbeing garden representing a landmark achievement for the RHS. It is the first permanent garden created within an RHS garden with health and wellbeing at its core. The arrangement of the garden has large circular paths that make it accessible to all and there are areas that are dedicated to rest and reflection surrounded by beech hedges for seclusion. The garden aims to be a hub for activities such as music, crafts, nature watching and meditation.
There is also a Community Grow that has been designed by RHS Horticulturalist Kate Irwin. By taking the interconnectivity and sociability of the cells within the Honeycomb includes symbolism of Manchester as inspiration. The intention of the garden is to bring local people together while working continually while developing their food-growing skills together.
Honestly, the RHS Garden Bridgewater is beautiful, or what I’ve seen of it so far. I can’t wait to go back and see the rest of RHS Bridgewater, especially when the gardens will be in bloom. Stay tuned for part two of my visit to RHS Bridgewater.