Creatively inspired by its rich heritage and setting, West Dean is brimming with features to enjoy.
An impressive collection of working Victorian Glasshouses, a 300 foot pergola, a spring garden and the occasional surreal fibreglass tree offer year-round interest to garden visitors.
As we await our visits from Father Christmas and perhaps eat too many mince pies in the meantime, a walk in the Gardens can act as an escape at this busy time of year. This month Sarah Wain also reflects and writes about the importance of our Glasshouses, it's been a busy year with their recent restoration.
The impressive 100 metre long pergola was designed by Harold Peto and needed extensive restoration following the 1987 storm. It is host to many varieties of magnolia, clematis, rose and honeysuckle.
The Spring Gardens is a peaceful haven, full of secret walkways, flint bridges and hidden benches to sit a while away an afternoon watching some ducklings on the river.
The beautiful Sunken Garden at West Dean reopened in the Spring of 2014 after a six year period of restoration and in July 2014 was awarded a Sussex Heritage Trust Award - Landscape & Gardens category.
St Roche's Arboretum is a must-see in late spring with an abundant display of rhododendrons and azaleas. The 2.5 mile circuit walk encompasses a fine collection of specimen trees and shrubs and breathtaking views of the Sussex Downs and of the flint house of West Dean College.
West Dean Garden's celebrated apple collection is housed within and around the Walled Garden. There are over 100 varieties of apple and 45 varieties of pear, including heritage varieties with links to West Sussex, many of them trained into exquisite traditional shapes.
West Dean Gardens has an impressive collection of thirteen working Victorian glasshouses. There is always colour on display from the large collection of plants including exotic plants, orchids, strawberry plants, figs, nectarines, peaches, gourds, grapes and melons.
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.
Visitors can come and see our 25 Years of Glorious Gardening photo exhibition, currently on display in the Mushroom Shed. Free entry with a ticket to the gardens (see current admission prices).