April sees the weather tending to remain unpredictable and if previous years are anything to go by, we can perhaps experience anything from a possible heatwave to ground frosts and sleet. That said, it is a great spring month to get out and visit some lovely gardens when the weather is on your side. Here, Geoff Stonebanks, the National Garden Scheme’s (NGS) Publicity Officer in East Sussex, reviews some of the fabulous private gardens opening for the scheme across Sussex this month.
Geoff says, “All the scheme’s gardens allow children in free and serve delicious homemade teas. More importantly, all the monies we raise go to nursing and caring charities, notably, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Carers Trust, The Queen’s Nursing Institute and Parkinson’s UK.”
This month we also have 3 brand new gardens opening for the first time in 2022.
Pett Road, Pett, Hastings TN35 4HB. https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/22945
Gardens Illustrated magazine said “The 18th century house is at the highest point in the garden with views down the slope over abundant borders and velvety lawns that are punctuated by clusters of specimen trees and shrubs. Beyond and below are the wildflower meadows and the ponds with a backdrop of the gloriously unspoilt Wealden landscape”. Go see for yourselves.
Wednesday 27 April from 11 am to 6 pm, entry £5.
Robin Hood Lane, Warnham, Horsham, RH12 3RP. https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/37121
The garden is situated in the middle of a 200-acre Deer Park, which has a very special herd of Red Deer, husbanded by the Lucas Family for over 150 years. There are borders with traditional planting and a kitchen garden that is prolific most of the year. The rest of the garden comprises different spaces, including a small white garden, a Moroccan courtyard and a walled garden. There is also a woodland walk to enjoy.
Saturday 23 April from 2 pm to 5.30 pm with entry £6 at the gate.
Taylors Lane, Bosham, Chichester, PO18 8QQ. https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/43674
This is a new year-round garden, featuring tulips, wisteria and much spring colour. Many other interesting shrubs and plants are included and the design incorporates a number of zones, such as a rose pergola, gravel garden, wild area and well planted herbaceous borders. It is a restful and tranquil spot, with views to the South Downs and within walking distance to Bosham waterfront.
Sunday 24 April from 1.30 pm to 5 pm and entry £4.50 at the gate.
8 Sandgate Close, Seaford BN25 3LL. https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/22563
Cupani is a small tranquil haven with a delightful mix of trees, shrubs and perennial borders in different themed beds. There is a courtyard garden, water features, sweet pea obelisks and a huge range of plants. The garden has undergone a major renovation through the last 2 years and now includes a dry and gravel garden and some additional tropical planting. Lots of plants for sale too.
Wednesday 20 and Sunday 24 April from 1 pm to 4 pm and entry £5.
33 The Plantation
Worthing, BN13 2AE. https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/43196
The plot is a medium-sized, town garden, with something of interest all year-round. It has several mature trees, creating a feeling of seclusion. The informal beds contain a mixture of shrubs, perennials, cottage garden plants and spring bulbs. There are little hidden areas to enjoy too, including, a small fish pond and other water features. Don’t miss the pretty log cabin overlooking the garden.
Friday 8 April from 1 pm to 5 pm and entry £5.
Butlers Lane, Herstmonceux, BN27 1QH. https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/16377
The East Sussex County Organiser opens her garden gate of this lovely, rural setting, 1-acre garden, surrounding the 16th century farmhouse. Wonderful views of the South Downs, it is pretty in spring with daffodils, hellebores and primroses. It has a sense of fun with surprises round every corner, including a rainbow border, small pond, Cornish inspired beach corners, a poison garden and secret jungle garden.
Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 April from 2 pm to 5 pm and entry £5.
Gardens by arrangement
Don’t forget to check the website for other gardens that only open by arrangement in Sussex to enjoy a private visit with family and friends: www.ngs.org.uk
If you enjoy the National Garden Scheme, you may also be interested in: