There are many wonderful gardens in Sussex, of all kinds and styles, from landscaped parks and woodland estates to intimate walled gardens, formal garden ‘rooms’ and wild and romantic grottoes.
Landscaped gardens famous for their spring-flowering magnolias, camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons include Wakehurst Place, Kew’s country garden in Sussex, with over 200 ha of landscaped and formal gardens with rare and exotic plants; Sheffield Park, a magnificent 18th century garden landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown around five lakes linked by water cascades, also known for its vibrant autumn colours; and High Beeches, which has woodland and water gardens in a romantic setting,
On a smaller scale, Nymans has romantic walled garden ‘rooms’ and atmospheric ruins draped with wisteria, while Pashley Manor garden is set around a moated Tudor manor, with fountains, statues and ponds, and the late, great Christopher Lloyd’s garden at Great Dixter is vibrant and unusual with experimental plantings. Borde Hill is a garden of many different moods, with individual themed ‘rooms’, sub-tropical dells, old-fashioned roses and parkland.
The formal walled gardens at Groombridge Place feature statues, drunken topiary and a giant chess set, and award-winning West Dean has a wonderful Victorian walled kitchen garden and 16 Victorian glasshouses, growing everything from orchids to peaches, aubergines and chillies. The Collector Earl's garden at Arundel Castle and Herstmonceux Castle gardens are both beautiful gardens in impressive settings.
Looking for ideas for your own garden? Don’t miss two smaller gardens, both full of inspirational ideas to take home. Merriments Gardens has imaginative planting schemes and breathtaking colour combinations, plus an excellent nursery with knowledgeable staff. Denmans Garden, home of renowned garden designer John Brookes, is designed for year-round interest, with lots of colour and texture.
And for a special treat, the National Gardens Scheme sees many private gardens open to the public for a limited time in aid of charity. Find out which Sussex Gardens are open each day from the NGS yellow book - the online version.