Sussex’s Gorgeous Gardens
Our county has so much to offer during the summer months: sandy beaches, rolling countryside, and of course, spectacular gardens. So pack a picnic, a bottle of bubbly and enjoy the great outdoors at some of insideSUSSEX’s favourite gardens.
Borde Hill Garden
Created by Colonel Stephenson Robert Clarke from seeds gathered by the Great Plant Hunters of the early 1900s, the Edwardian Garden at Borde Hill is renowned for its rare shrubs and champion trees. The grounds extend to over 200 acres, including 17 acres of formal gardens, and boasts spectacular views over the Sussex Weald and the Ouse Valley. Kids can enjoy the play area and grown-ups can savour a nice, warm cuppa at the café.
Pashley Manor Gardens
At Pashley Manor Gardens, you can delight in the sweeping herbaceous borders, elegant rose and historic walled gardens, the productive kitchen garden, enchanting woodland paths and tranquil vistas. As well as visiting the gardens, visitors can sample the delicious homemade food in the café, including locally smoked chicken and trout, hand-raised pie and many more choices.
Sheffield Park and Garden
The garden is a horticultural work of art formed through centuries of landscape design, with influences of ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton. Four lakes form the heart of the garden, with paths circulating through the glades and wooded areas surrounding them. Each owner has left their impression, which can still be seen today in the layout of the lakes, the construction of Pulham Falls, the planting of Palm Walk and the many different tree and shrub species from around the world. You can also enjoy a sweet or savoury treat in the tea room, or find the perfect gift in the shop.
Open throughout the year, Wakehurst is the country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The varied landscape is of international significance for its beautiful botanic gardens and tree collections, as well as for its science-based plant conservation and research. You can enjoy lunch of seasonal and local produce at The Stables, or have a fresh homemade sandwich or cake at the Seed Café. If you fancy a spot of shopping, find the perfect addition to your own home garden in the plant centre or Kew-run shop.
West Dean Gardens
A huge amount of work over the last two decades has gone into making the 90 acres of gardens and arboretum at West Dean a showcase of horticultural variety and quality that can inspire any gardener throughout the seasons. The award-winning gardens include many interesting architectural delights and unique features. Highlights include a 300-foot Edwardian Pergola designed by Harold Peto, 16 restored Victorian glasshouses, a walled garden, a kitchen garden, orchards, ornamental gardens, spring, wild and woodland gardens and sunken gardens. Enjoy a homemade lunch or afternoon tea, or browse an imaginative range of gifts and plants for sale in the shop.
It’s easy to lose yourself in the intimate and surprising corners of Nymans Gardens. You’ll discover intriguing ruins, statues, vast views and planting with year-round beauty. In summer, enjoy stunning floral displays in the herbaceous and summer borders and exotics in the Mediterranean and South African beds. The café offers some great dishes made in-house using fresh, seasonal produce including cakes and other treats.
Gravetye Manor Gardens
The gardens at Gravetye Manor are a very special place and can be considered amongst the most influential in English gardening history. The manor became the home of the creative, innovative and revolutionary gardener, William Robinson in 1884. Robinson spent his remarkable life as a professional gardener and botanist, but made his fortune through writing about his experiences and ideas on horticulture. Today, the tree line and the masses of naturalised bulbs show Robinsons’ genius in a way that only he could have imagined over 100 years ago.
High Beeches Garden
A hidden gem in the High Weald of Sussex, High Beeches has an outstanding ‘wild plant’ collection from all over the world, and the best natural wildflower meadow in Sussex. The 27 acres of rhododendrons, rare plants, trees and shrubs have been declared ‘outstanding’ by English Heritage, and are a well preserved example of early 20th century woodland gardens.
Set within 300 acres of carefully managed woodland with themed formal gardens to the rear, the 15th century moated Herstmonceux Castle embodies the history of medieval England and the romance of renaissance Europe. As you head through the themed gardens you will work your way towards the woodland trails where you can enjoy a peaceful stroll and take in the carefully managed flora and fauna of the estate. Discoveries such as Woodhenge, 300-year-old Chestnut Trees, the Folly and Secret Garden as well as the Lake and Moat Walk all add to the escapism of everyday life.
The stunning and inspirational walled gardens at Arundel Castle include the internationally renowned Collector Earl’s Garden, The Stumpery, the hot and cool Herbaceous Borders with contrasting foliage plants, the Cut Flower Garden and the Organic Kitchen Garden. The Gardens and grounds are planted sympathetically, and managed with an organic eco-friendly ethos to encourage wild flowers, beneficial insects and wildlife.