BEAUTIFUL BORDE HILL GARDEN
By Ann Evans
Photos courtesy of Borde Hill Gardens.
If you love visiting gardens, then one of the country’s finest is Borde Hill Gardens in West Sussex. It’s open from March through to September, and at this time of the year it’s bursting out in full bloom.
Borde Hill house was built in 1598 and this magnificent Elizabethan Tudor mansion forms the backdrop to the 17 acre garden which flows into a series of ‘garden rooms’ each distinctive in its own style and character. This in turn, is set within 200 acres of spacious parkland and woodland, so visitors can picnic by the lake, take long woodland walks and enjoy the sights and scents of the profusion of plants, trees and flowers.
For the children there are exciting adventure playgrounds to explore, and you can even take the dog, but remember to keep it on a lead.
The botanical heritage and stunning landscapes make this the ideal day out for horticultural enthusiasts. The garden was created by Colonel Stephenson Robert Clark from seeds gathered by the great plant hunters of the early 1900s who travelled all around the world in their search of new and exotic plants. Today, Borde Hill is listed as Grade II importance by English Heritage on its register of Parks and Gardens. Its collection of trees and shrubs is one of the most comprehensive in the world.
Towards late June, the Jay Robin Rose Garden will be in full bloom. Predominantly it is planted with David Austin English roses, and is bordered by box and lavender hedges. Delphiniums, peonies, phlox, swags of clematis and rambling roses grown on wooden poles, complement the rose displays.
The Rose Garden was designed in 1995 by Robin Williams, RHS gold medallist, and was planted in 1996. The design was inspired by Stephenson Clarke family photographs from 1902, which highlight the family’s passion for English roses. There’s also a fine selection of ‘Gold Standard Roses’ planted with herbaceous plants, grasses and shrubs in the Midsummer Border. This was designed by plantsman and author Dr Tony Lord.
Special Rose Celebrations take place between 15th and 30th June. So enjoy a cream tea in the Rose Garden at Little Ritz Café, or even a rose-themed tea at Cafe Elvira, located within the Victorian stable blocks, or visit the shop for a selection of rose-themed gifts.
And if you want to learn the secrets of growing perfect roses, on the 18th and 25th June, at 11am, the Head Gardener, Andy Stevens will be giving informal guided tours of the Rose Garden, providing tips and advice on how to grow healthy roses that flourish with colour.
Also running until 1st September, is a Sculpture Exhibition. Now in its 16th year, the Sculpture Exhibition is a notable celebration of art and sculpture by both established and up and coming artists. During the Exhibition, the garden and woodland is transformed into an outdoor gallery with unique life size sculptures made from bronze, resin, stone, metalwork, ceramics, steel clay, glass and cloth which have been created by 13 different sculptors.
Just a perfectly lovely day out for all the family.
For more information and admission prices visit the website: www.bordehill.co.uk