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Major new English garden opens its gates for the first time

The Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity, has opened its latest garden. RHS Garden Bridgewater is a brand new 154-acre garden in Salford, Greater Manchester, and is the largest hands-on horticultural project undertaken in Europe since planning permission was granted in 2017.

Paradise_Garden_RHS_Bridgewater_c_RHS_-_Neil_Hepworth.jpgRHS Garden Bridgewater © RHS / Neil Hepworth

Featuring cutting-edge design by RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winners alongside numerous dedicated community spaces, RHS Garden Bridgewater will be a beacon of gardening inspiration, education and engagement in the heart of North West England. More than a quarter of a million plants have gone into the ground ahead of the opening, representing a huge boost for biodiversity in the area.

Visitors will discover areas including the 11-acre Weston Walled Garden, the jewel in the crown of RHS Garden Bridgewater, believed to be the largest publicly-accessible working walled garden in the UK; the spectacular Paradise Garden by Tom Stuart-Smith, which showcases exotic planting inspired by Asiatic and Mediterranean gardens and the nearby Kitchen Garden which highlights a cornucopia of productive growing techniques and both familiar and more unusual edibles.

Paradise_Garden_2_RHS_Bridgewater_c_RHS_-_Neil_Hepworth.jpgThe Paradise Garden at RHS Garden Bridgewater © RHS / Neil Hepworth

The Community Wellbeing Garden, Community Grow area and Peel Learning Garden are just some of the community-focused spaces that can be found within the Weston Walled Garden, alongside the Orchard Gardens and the first dedicated RHS Trials ground outside of the flagship RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, where garden plants will be assessed for their performance in the northern English climate.

Elsewhere, visitors can explore the beginnings of the Chinese Streamside Garden, which will be the first authentic Chinese garden in the UK when complete, and the 4-acre Woodland Play area designed to encourage children of all ages to engage with nature.

Kitchen_Garden_RHS_Bridgewater_c_RHS_-_Neil_Hepworth.jpgThe Kitchen Garden at RHS Garden Bridgewater © RHS / Neil Hepworth

Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: “RHS Garden Bridgewater is the result of years of hard work by a dream team of designers, gardeners, contractors and many, many others and we are all enormously proud of what we have created. Together with our partners and donors, including Salford City Council and The Peel Group, we are thrilled to finally be able to celebrate this monumental achievement on 18 May.”

Head of RHS Garden Bridgewater Richard Green added: “A huge thank you must also go to our incredible team of more than 700 local volunteers who freely give their time to pitch in with everything from bricklaying to giving tours, and without whom none of this would be possible. This collaborative approach is what has made RHS Bridgewater such a unique and special project, and we can’t wait to open the gates and share it with everyone.”

Worsley_Welcome_Garden_RHS_Bridgewater_c_RHS_-_Neil_Hepworth.jpgWorsley Welcome Garden at RHS Garden Bridgewater © RHS / Neil Hepworth

The RHS is investing £35m in the creation of the garden, which the charity forecasts will generate around £13.2m per year to the local economy by 2030. RHS Garden Bridgewater was made possible with support from Salford City Council, which is investing £19 million into the project to bring substantial economic and tourism benefits to North West England, and The Peel Group, the custodians of the former Worsley New Hall estate where the garden has been created.

Janet Redler, Chief Executive of Janet Redler Travel & Tourism, said: “This exciting new garden is sure to bring enthusiasts from all over the world to the North West of England. We are looking forward to visiting soon and to adding the garden to our itineraries, ready for when our overseas visitors return to the United Kingdom and Ireland and can enjoy our tours once again.”

If you or your group would like to enjoy a tailor-made garden tour of England, the United Kingdom or Ireland, please do contact our friendly team today. We have many years’ experience creating perfect itineraries for garden lovers!

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