It’s April already and Easter is almost upon us, bringing beautiful tulips and daffodils for us all to enjoy in the garden. In his regular monthly feature of National Garden Scheme Gardens, opening across Sussex, Geoff Stonebanks, the Publicity Officer for the East of the county has teamed up with his counterpart in West Sussex, Kate Harrison, and has the following list of gardens you must see in April.
Full details on all garden openings can be found at www.ngs.org.uk
The Hidden Garden, School Lane (behind Selsey Library), Selsey, Chichester, PO20 9EH. 30th April, 10.30 am to 4.30 pm, entry £5
The Hidden Garden is a community gardening project helping and encouraging local people to become involved with growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers along with providing spaces for wildlife to thrive. The garden is open to people of all ages and abilities in the Selsey community, organised by the Selsey Community Forum but looked after by a dedicated group of local volunteers.
Situated next to the Academy Selsey School they run events and workshops to teach organic horticulture, wildlife gardening and sustainability. Regular gardening activities for young people take place throughout the year and they share produce with elder local residents who attend activities in the garden.
They encourage people to share and swap spare seeds, plants and gardening equipment throughout the year and have a variety of perennial plants available for a donation to visitors. They share their space with Selsey Men In Sheds who make innovative wooden garden items and the charity Youth Dream who provide educational and support services to young people in our area. If you visit you will find lots of innovative ideas and ways to grow fresh organic vegetables, fruit and herbs along with a variety of wildlife habitats and ways to increase biodiversity in gardens of all sizes.
Peelers Retreat, 70 Ford Road, Arundel, BN18 9EX. 11th, 15th, 25th & 29th April, 2 pm to 5 pm, entry £5
A stunning garden filled with imaginative woodland sculptures and natural forestry features. These quirky yet tasteful additions are set within a wonderful garden laid out around a raised fishpond and small rockery. An inventive water feature rill wends its way through parts of the garden and a working Victorian fireplace.
Curved and irregular shaped beds interlock with safe walkways, generously planted with a range of specimen trees that have been adapted to give height, structure and dappled shade. Underneath the canopy, architectural plants are playfully mixed in with fragrant roses, clematis, luxurious canna lilies and the dazzling colours of dahlias, fuchsias and bedding plants. There’s a variety of spring flowers. Painted pots containing late flowering exotic plants, as well as a fully stocked greenhouse of salad vegetables. All this and much more has been included into this gently terraced garden. Their April opening will focus on their colourful tulip beds.
Bignor Park, Pulborough RH20 1HG. 18th April. 2 pm to 5 pm, entry £5
There are 11 acres of peaceful garden to explore, with magnificent views of the South Downs. See interesting trees, shrubs, and wildflower areas with swathes of daffodils in spring. The walled flower garden has been replanted with herbaceous borders; don’t miss the Temple, Greek loggia, Zen pond and unusual sculptures around the plot. This was the former home of the romantic poet Charlotte Smith, whose sonnets were inspired by Bignor Park. There is a spectacular cedar of Lebanon and rare Lucombe oak tree to see too.
Butlers Farmhouse, Butlers Lane, Herstmonceux, East Sussex, BN27 1QH. 1st & 2nd April, 2 pm to 5 pm, entry £6
Lovely rural setting for this 1 acre garden, surrounding 16th century farmhouse with views of South Downs. Extremely pretty in spring with masses of daffodils, hellebores and primroses. Quite a quirky garden with many surprises round every corner including a rainbow border, small pond, Cornish inspired beach corners, a poison garden and secret jungle garden. Not to be missed.
The Garden House, 5 Warleigh Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4NT. 21st April, 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm, entry £6
Discover one of Brighton’s best kept secrets. The garden aims to provide year-round interest with trees, shrubs, herbaceous borders and annuals, fruit and vegetables. There are two glasshouses, a pond and rockery to see too. Often remarked to be a friendly garden, always changing, providing a touch of magic to delight visitors. Above all, it is a slice of the country in the midst of a bustling city. The garden changes all the time, to reflect both the seasons and changing trends in horticulture. The Garden House also provides a learning space for creative and inspiration courses and events.
The Oast, Fletching Street, Mayfield, Sussex, TN20 6TN. 22nd & 23rd April, 11 am to 5 pm, £5
A south facing, gently sloping 1 acre garden with a lovely view. See herbaceous borders and a ½ acre wildflower meadow. There is an interesting and varied selection of hardy and half-hardy plants, trees and shrubs, vegetables and fruit right across the plot. Lots of amazing colour with creative and imaginative planting, plus a very fine display of tulips and spring flowers to see.
Banks Farm, Boast Lane, Barcombe, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 5DY. 29th & 30th April, 11am to 4pm, entry £5
This 9 acre garden is set in rural countryside. See extensive lawns and shrub beds as they merge with the more naturalistic woodland garden, set around the lake. Traverse the orchard, vegetable garden, see the ponds and a wide variety of plant species add to an interesting and very tranquil garden. Banks Farm Garden was begun in the 1950’s when the Warren family built the existing house and started to develop the garden. A lawn and shrub beds were created leading down to a small lake, surrounded by trees and shrubs. Over the years the garden has matured and expanded as adjoining pieces of land have been incorporated. There will be cherries, crab apples, bulbs and early flowering shrubs on show. Whilst still undergoing a period of renovation the new fresh plantings are blending well with the mature established parts of the garden. It is now returning to its’ beautiful and tranquil best.
We sincerely hope you can get out to visit one or all of these gorgeous gardens. If you enjoyed post this about gardens to visit this spring, you might also like: