25 Years of Glorious Gardening
This year marks 25 years since head gardeners, husband and wife, Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain, began the transformation of West Dean into award-winning gardens, in the wake of the Great Storms of 1987. In the years since 1991, they have revitalised the 19th century landscape and overseen tremendous changes which have brought the gardens international respect for both the quality and variety of horticultural practice.
West Dean is one of the most significant restored gardens open to the public today. Creatively inspired by its rich heritage and setting within the South Downs, the 92-acres are brimming with features to enjoy, including an impressive collection of 13 working Victorian glasshouses, a 300-foot Edwardian pergola, a heritage fruit collection in the Walled Garden, a Kitchen Garden, a Spring and Woodland Garden and occasional surreal fibreglass tree.
The 49-acre St Roche's Arboretum is of interest all year round with its fine collection of trees but is a must-see in late spring with its abundant display of rhododendrons and azaleas. The 2.5 mile Parkland walk that links the grounds to the arboretum is a beautiful circular walk with breathtaking views of the flint house of West Dean College and the surrounding South Downs landscape.