The Hutts, a name which derives from the Norse for “Head of the Valley” is a privately owned 20 acre woodland garden. When Peter and Caroline Roberts bought the property in 1996 some of the grounds were coppiced Hazel woodland with an infestation of Japanese Knotweed, whilst other parts of the site were dense, dark woods of Sitka Spruce. The original plantings of Hybrid Rhododendrons along the drive prompted Peter to visit other Rhododendron Gardens including Bodnant, Ray Wood at Castle Howard, Hooker Hall and Muncaster Castle & Gardens. Inspired by these gardens, Peter set about the challenging task of transforming his grounds into a collection to rival these but it soon became evident that creating a Rhododendron garden on this scale would require specialist knowledge of this Genus.
“I was not interested in gardening to start with but on receiving advice from Alan Clark, who said our grounds were one of the best possible sites for this type of garden, I was intrigued by the idea of creating a Himalayan garden from scratch and decided to give it a go!”
As the plant collection developed so did Peter’s taste for the rarer and more unusual varieties and species. Peter began supporting plant hunting trips to the sino-himalayan area to add to the wild-origin plant material already in his collection, much of which had been supplied by Alan Clark, an eminent Himalayan plant hunter, for the initial plantings.
Visitors to the garden will see many plants growing with wild collection numbers.