England’s Finest Gardens & Chelsea Flower Show 2010
May 25th – June 2nd, 2010


Friday, May 28th, 2010

Borde Hill - ‘A Paradise for Plants in the Heart of Sussex’

Described as 'One of the country's truly great gardens' - Country Life magazine, Borde Hill is more than just a beautiful and historic garden. It not only boasts outstanding views across 200 acres of Grade 11* listed parkland and woodland, but also a nationally important collection of fine trees and shrubs, including 80 champion trees. The formal garden is planted as distinctive 'rooms', each offering an abundance of colour and interest throughout the seasons.

Borde Hill is a stunningly beautiful and botanically rich heritage Garden, set within over 200 acres of traditional parkland. It captivates and delights visitors with a series of intimate ‘living garden rooms’, fine woodland, parkland, lakes and outstanding views across the Sussex High Weald. - Drama on the Hill - The Times, - One of the country's truly great gardens - Country Life - Planted with Passion - BBC Homes & Antiques - A Plantsman's Paradise

At the heart of the garden Borde Hill House, a Tudor mansion dating from 1598, provides a superb backdrop to the formal 17-acre Garden which flows into a series of linked ‘garden rooms’, each boasts its own distinctive character and style.

For over 100 years the plantings have evolved with the vision of seasonal colour and interest to compliment the plantings of Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias and Magnolias. The Rose Garden and herbaceous borders add a blaze of colour and the sub-tropical Dells have an air of tropical mystery, whilst sheltered areas within a mature landscape bring unexpected delights. Eleni Clark, the owner of this beautiful estate came over to meet our group as we were having lunch in the café. I met her a few years ago and it is wonderful to see the progression of the garden through the years. What do you think of that stunning hot pink and yellow rhodo? Wow…and quite the ‘little’ home Eleni lives in. I was inside the house on an earlier trip and it truly is something.

Denmans - 'a contemporary classic....an immensely stimulating garden' - The English Garden Magazine

There is something about the garden at Denmans which is quite unlike any other in Britain, for its display is not only to do with flower colour, but foliage form and. Although the garden is only four acres in size, its layout is such that the visitor enjoys many small areas within the overall, for it is punctuated with pieces of statuary, a well designed pot or a warm sitting corner. In fact, it is a garden full of ideas to take home, and which can then be interpreted within smaller garden spaces.

One of the most interesting features in the garden is the use of gravel. It is used both to walk on and as a growing medium so that you progress through the plantings rather than past them. It creates a casual, jungly effect, particularly in the walled garden, while allowing the plants to develop naturally. And to cut down on the labour of constantly mowing the grass to one length, much of it is left longer and is cut monthly with a rotary mower, though with meandering mown paths through it, cut down each week. The effect is of a tamed wilderness, and the organic patterns this creates combine with the random growth of plant material through gravel to create a thoroughly relaxed and very different mood.

At the bottom of the garden there is a large natural-looking pond which a family of moorhens has taken over. Early in the year the chicks bob in a line across it like wind-up toys.

Denmans was the garden to a country house, so there is a walled garden containing a recently introduced herb garden, a newly refurbished conservatory- now alive with the chatter of budgerigars, and a larger area for frost-tender plants. I loved the seating in the conservatory.

After our visit in the gardens we all met in the café to enjoy Afternoon Tea before heading back to London.



  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row