Following on from his inaugural feature on the beautiful National Garden Scheme gardens last month, Geoff Stonebanks has, once again, selected a number of exceptional private gardens across Sussex for you to visit in March.
Down Place, South Harting, Petersfield, GU31 5PN
This impressive garden has a weekend opening on the 26th and 27th March with payment at the gate of £5 and opening hours from 1:30 to 5.30 pm.
The plot is set on the South Downs, providing panoramic views out across the undulating wooded countryside. The amazing garden seems to merge seamlessly into its surrounding landscape. Rose and herbaceous borders have been moulded into the sloping ground and walks can be taken, shaded by beech trees that surround the natural wildflower meadow where various native orchids flourish. (https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/11729)
The Old Vicarage, Washington, RH20 4AS
This is a beautiful garden owned by the West Sussex joint County Organiser, and is open for pre-booking only, across several dates throughout the month. Those dates in question are, 3rd, 10th, 17th, 20th, 24th and 31st , when the gates will open between 10.30 am and 4.00 pm. Sunday 20th March is the one date when you can just turn up and pay at the gate. Entry is £7 and the garden was a Regional Finalist in The English Garden’s, The Nation’s Favourite Gardens 2021.
Each year 2000 tulips are planted for spring as well as another 2000 snowdrops and mixed bulbs throughout the three-and-a-half acre garden. The front is formally laid out with topiary, a wide lawn, mixed border and contemporary water sculpture, while the rear features new and mature trees from 19th century along with stunning, uninterrupted views of the North Downs. (https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/21793)
The Manor of Dean, Tillington, Petworth, GU28 9AP
The Manor of Dean opens twice, on the 6th March between 2 and 5 pm and on the 22nd between 10. 30 am and 1 pm, entry for both dates, at the gate is £5. There are approximately three acres of traditional English garden with extensive views of the South Downs. Early spring bulbs, a bluebell woodland walk, walled kitchen garden with fruit, vegetables and cutting flowers. (https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/3616)
King John’s Lodge, Sheepstreet Lane, Etchingham, TN19 7AZ
This garden will open on the 27th March from 11 am to 5 pm, with £5 entry at the gate. This is a 4-acre, romantic garden set for all seasons. It has been an ongoing family project since 1987. Meander from the new areas completed in 2020. From the eclectic shop, through the nursery and tearoom, stroll past the wildlife pond, through the orchard brimming with bulbs into the meadow, and rose walk. (https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/11831)
Limekiln Farm, Chalvington Road, Chalvington, near Hailsham, BN27 3TA
Limekiln is opening on the weekend of the 26th and 27th between 2 and 5 pm with entry of £6, paid on the gate. The garden was designed in the 1930s when the house was owned by Charles Stewart Taylor, MP for Eastbourne. It has not changed in basic layout since then. The planting aims to reflect the age of the 17th century property and original garden design. The house and garden are mentioned in Virginia Woolf’s diaries of 1929, depicting a particular charm and peace that still exists today.
A talk will be provided at 3 pm in the Physic Garden about medicinal plants. There will be many spring flowers and tree blossom on view. (https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/32877)
47 Denmans Lane, Lindfield, RH16 2JN
Geoff’s penultimate offering opens on the 21st March, between 10 am and 5 pm. Here, entry is £5 but must be pre booked online. This beautiful and tranquil 1 acre garden was described by Sussex Life as a “Garden Where Plants Star”. Created by the current owners, over the past 20 years, it is planted for interest throughout the year. The dazzling spring bulbs are followed by azaleas, rhododendrons, roses and herbaceous perennials. (https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/34430)
Bates Green, Tye Hill Road, Arlington, BN26 6SH
Opening again this month, if you missed it in February, this is a plantswoman’s 2-acre tranquil space with a woodland garden created around a majestic oak tree, courtyard gardens with seasonal container displays. The front garden is a winter and spring joy with narcissi, primroses, violets, early tulips and coloured stems of cornus and salix. Pre-booking is essential for Sunday 20th from 10 30 am to 4 pm, refreshments and light lunches will be available too. (https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/9900)
Once again, I sincerely hope you enjoy your visits in March and look forward to advising you of the unique gardens we have for you in April.
If you’ve enjoyed these Spring NGS gardens, you may also be interested in: