The Hyde collection

The Hyde collection at Kingston Lacy

Wander through the nursery wood at Kingston Lacy and you will find a collection of colourful and special rhododendrons.

George Hyde was a local nurseryman, a rhododendron and azalea hybridist, who had been a pupil of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Wimborne. In 1996 Rosemary Legrand, his daughter, presented a gift of over 500 mature Hyde azalea and rhododendron hybrids raised by her father, including the named and registered Shakespeare rhododendron collection and his mature camellia stock plants to the National Trust for the gardens at Kingston Lacy.

The stunning colours of the Hyde collection
The Hyde collection at Kingston Lacy in Dorset
The stunning colours of the Hyde collection

It was a mammoth undertaking which took the Kingston Lacy gardening team from November 1996 until the end of March 1997 to lift and transfer the plants.

George Hyde raised the Solent Series of deciduous azaleas which are to be seen at the de Rothschild  Exbury Gardens and his evergreen azalea hybrids are planted on Battleston Hill in the RHS gardens at Wisley, and at Ramster Gardens, both in Surrey.  Over the years he supplied plants to the gardens at Buckingham Palace and the Royal Parks.

Now well established at Kingston Lacy with more recent additions, the plantings give a sparkling array of colour for visitors in the gardens.