Wakehurst's winter garden banishes the gloom

  • Andy Dickenson reports from Wakehurst in Sussex

The Winter Garden at Wakehurst, Kew's wild botanic garden in Sussex, is celebrating its third birthday.

Bursting with the colour and fragrance of over 33,000 plants, arranged in a bold, contemporary composition beside the Elizabethan Mansion, it is the jewel in Wakehurst's crown this winter.

Hellebores provide a splash of dramatic colour

Now firmly established, this garden is thriving in a season where others might falter. A delight for the senses inspired by mountains, tundra and heathland.

Even on a blustery, cold morning there's plenty here to warm the wildest of hearts.

The design of the ornamental garden references wild winter habitats such as Himalayan, tundra and heathland landscapes.

"At this time of year everyone needs a pick-me-up," says volunteer Shaun Hooper.

"The days are short, it's a bit cold, but when you come here the winter garden absolutely delivers.

"It's the UN decade of action and trying to replace some of the biodiversity that we've lost is so critical. That's why I volunteer here- to help the scientists here who are making that happen."

For more information visit the Wakehurst website.