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Evocative Sussex September Gardens

Sussex gardens

September is generally a cooler, gustier month than August and the days are noticeably shorter and the open garden season begins to wind down for 2023. Geoff Stonebanks, the National Garden Scheme’s Publicity Officer in East and Mid Sussex, teams up with his colleague Kate Harrison in West Sussex to give us the lowdown on some of the beautiful gardens opening for the scheme in September.

Ashling Park Estate, West Ashling, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 9DJ

Wednesdays 13th and 20th. 10 am to 11.30 am with tour, entry £8. Pre-booking essential.

A truly fascinating vineyard tour with wine tasting that starts promptly at 10 am. First created in the 19th century, Ashling Park was cited on the Tithe map and has had a new lease of life when a vineyard was planted in 2017. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunièr, Chardonnay and Bacchus grape varieties are grown. See the chef’s kitchen garden and large collection of 50 beehives.

Ashling Park Gardens

Sandhill Farm House, Nyewood Road, Rogate, Petersfield, Sussex, GU31 5HU

Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th. 2 pm to 5 pm with entry £5. 

Both the front and rear gardens are carefully broken up into garden rooms, including a small kitchen garden. There is a small woodland area in the front, planted with  flowering shrubs, ferns and bulbs. See the white and green garden, large leaf border and terraced area. In the rear see rose borders, a small decorative vegetable garden, red border and grasses border.

Sussex September Gardens
Photo credit Judi Lion

Parsonage Farm, Kirdford, nr Billingshurst, Sussex, RH14 0NH

Sunday 3rd. 2 pm to 6 pm with entry £7. 

A major garden in a beautiful setting that has been developed over 30 years with a fruit theme along with many unusual plants. It has been formally laid out on a grand scale with long vistas. See the 18th century walled garden with borders in apricot, orange, scarlet and crimson, followed by the topiary walk, pleached lime allée, tulip tree avenue, rose borders and vegetable garden with trained fruit. There is a turf amphitheatre, informal autumn shrubbery, yew cloisters and jungle walk.

Sussex September Gardens
Photo Credit Judi Lion

Limekiln Farm, Chalvington Road, Chalvington, Sussex, BN27 3TA

Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th. 2pm to 5pm with entry £7. 

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.

Sussex gardens
Photo credit Leigh Clapp

Bates Green Garden, Tye Hill Road, Arlington, East Sussex, BN26 6SH

Sunday 24th.  10.30 am to 4 pm with entry £6 and children £3.

This plantswoman’s 2-acre tranquil garden provides interest through the seasons. A woodland garden has been created around a majestic oak tree. The middle garden peaks in late summer and the courtyard gardens offer 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. Don’t miss the wildlife pond and conservation meadow which is gardened for nature.

Sussex September Gardens

Knightsbridge House, Grove Hill, Hellingly, Hailsham, Sussex, BN27 4HH

Wednesday 6th and Saturday 9th. 2 pm to 5 pm with entry £7.

This is a mature landscaped garden set in 5 acres of tranquil countryside surrounding a Georgian house. There are several garden rooms, providing spectacular herbaceous borders planted in contemporary style. There will be lots of late season colour with grasses and some magnificent specimen trees and a partly walled garden to visit.

Sussex Gardens

We hope readers can make the most of their visits in September, as the final gardens to see this year will be opening in October. Full details of all gardens can be found at

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