What's new?

Coronavirus update

Following ongoing advice from the Government for social distancing, to protect the health and safety of all, the Gardens are closed until further notice. We will provide updates of any changes as they happen.

Read further information from Chief Executive, Alexander Barron ACA FRSA

Bringing the Gardens to you, via social media

Although the Gardens may be closed, our social media is full of updates and developments around the Gardens as we move through spring. The warm weather recently has meant we have some excellent photos. Please feel free to share our pictures, tagging @westdeangardens. See more on:

NHS Staff to get FREE entry once the Gardens re-open

To coincide with International Nurses Day on Tuesday 12 May 2020, the Gardens are inviting NHS nurses and all their NHS colleagues to visit the award-winning gardens for free, once the Gardens reopen. 

Entry will be free for NHS staff members plus one, with accompanying children also free (dogs welcome on leads). NHS staff will simply need to show NHS ID on entry to enjoy unlimited visits for six months from the Gardens reopening. (Entry will also be given to nurses not working for the NHS but who can show proof of RCN membership.)

Alexander Barron, Chief Executive, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation commented: “In these extraordinary times, the important role that the staff of the NHS play in our lives has become more evident than ever, and this is our small gesture of thanks. As we know from recent NHS research, the outdoors is key to everyone’s wellbeing, and we hope our beautiful gardens can be a space for NHS staff to escape to and experience some tranquility, whether it be for a stroll around the stunning walled gardens or a walk up to the arboretum.”

The reopening date is still to be decided; please follow us on social media or check our website for updates.

Gardeners' World at West Dean

If you missed West Dean Gardens on Gardener's World recently then you can catch up on the BBC iPlayer here (episode 5). This series the programmes are featuring head gardeners from around the country, so do tune in to hear from West Dean's Head Gardener Tom Brown

Tom spent the day showing the crew the Walled Garden, the stunning Nectarine Glasshouse, the Pergola and the Spring Gardens. He said: “I was so pleased to welcome BBC’s Gardeners’ World to West Dean Gardens on a glorious day, and I am thrilled to have been chosen for this new series of pieces focussing on Head Gardeners. The piece featuring West Dean Gardens will be the first to be shown and I am very pleased to join a prestigious line up, which also features Head Gardeners and the gardens they work at, including Sissinghurst and Ilford Manor, as well as several others.” 

Growing your own

Thinking of growing your own and wondering where to start? If the answer is 'yes', West Dean's Head Gardener, Tom Brown, is here to inspire and help you. Be sure to follow along on our social media channels (@westdeangardens) and with #westdeantogether.

How to grow salad leaves

West Dean Gardens Head Gardener, Tom Brown demonstrates how to sow and grow salad leaves from seed, as well as how to harvest leaves for continuous growing.


How to grow potatoes

In this video, Head Gardener Tom Brown demonstrates how to grow potatoes both in the ground and in a container. He also shares a clever and efficient way to back fill your holes when plating in the soil, as well as types of potatoes and when to harvest.

How to grow French beans

In this video, Tom reveals how to grow French beans, both starting them in a pot indoors and sowing directly into your garden. He also demonstrates planting climbing French beans and what to use as a frame, and gives a few tips on growing butternut squash.

Garden Media Guild Awards

On Thursday 21 November, West Dean Gardens' Head Gardener Tom Brown and Chief Executive Alex Barron attended the prestigious Garden Media Guild Awards 2019, at The Savoy Hotel, London.

We are thrilled to announce that Tom was awarded the Alan Titchmarsh New Talent Award. The judges' comments included: "Tom Brown’s quiet passion and wide-ranging horticultural skills are evident in both his writing and presenting examples, and he has a subtle yet extremely engaging style. He’s an experienced, passionate plantsman and gardener. Tom brings his subjects to life both on the page and presented to camera. His love of plants shines throughout and it is a joy to read and watch material backed up by in-depth knowledge along with a great deal of hands-on experience."

At West Dean by former Head Gardeners Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain was shortlisted for the Garden Book of the Year, and Andrea Jones, who took the photos for the book, was shortlisted for the Gordon Rae Photographer of the Year Award. 

The full list of winners can be found on the Garden Media Guild Awards' website.

Award-winning wedding venue

2020 Global Wedding Awards

We are delighted to share the news that West Dean Gardens has been named: 

  • Best Wedding Reception Venue 2020 (West Sussex) AND 
  • Wedding Photography Venue of the Year 2020 (South East England) 

at the LUXlife 2020 Global Wedding Awards. Find out more about wedding receptions at West Dean Gardens.

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