Gardens Events

The Art and Craft of Garden Design

Great Dixter, Northiam, Rye

Tuesdays March 20, April 17, May 15, June 19, July 17, August 1, September 18, october 16 and November 20, 10am-5pm

£1,200 for nine course dates

The garden at Great Dixter provides the perfect setting for students to learn about the art and craft of garden design. This innovative nine-month course, led by award-winning garden designer and lecturer Annie Guilfoyle, allows participants to observe and study the garden throughout the changing seasons. It will incorporate the fundamentals of garden design and is delivered through seminars, demonstrations and critical appraisal of the garden. There will be practical design sessions, some garden-based.

Phone 01797 254048 or visit

Garden Tour

Alfriston Clergy House, The Tye, Alfriston

Tuesdays April 17, May 15 and July 17, 11.30am-12.30pm

Free. Normal admission charges apply

The Clergy House’s head gardener leads a tour around the idyllic garden, which was laid out in the 1920s by Sir Robert Witt, who segmented it into small individual ‘rooms’ and for terracing down to the river. There’s a box tree garden, a medieval-style square garden bounded by yew hedges and divided by paths with a sundial at its centre, an orchard, rose beds and a herb garden and vegetable garden.

Phone 01323 871961 or visit

Allium Extravaganza

Arundel Castle, Arundel

May and June

In May and June, eruptions of pom-pom headed alliums burst into bloom at Arundel Castle. Nicknamed the ‘fireworks of gardening’, more than 14 varieties of allium will be on show in the Walled gardens. Head gardener Martin Duncan explains, “This allium display brings a fresh new burst of colour and intrigue to the Collector Earl’s Gardens. We have deliberately selected tall ornamental alliums to create the illusion of them bursting like fireworks above neighbouring flowers. With names like ‘Mount Everest’, it’s easy to understand the visual impact that these flowers will deliver and why they are such a talking point in the gardens”.

Phone 01903 882173 or visit

Rose Celebration Weeks

Borde Hill Garden, Borde Hill Lane, Haywards Heath

Monday-Friday June 18-29

Normal admission charges apply

These celebrations of the beauty of the Jay Robin’s Rose Garden, which has 750 David Austin roses, filling the air with their fragrance, include short tours of the rose garden and borders at 12noon on June 20 and 27. David Austin roses will be on sale, along with specialist rose-themed gifts.

Phone 01444 450326 or visit

Melvin Smith Rural Gardening Tools Display

Great Dixter, Northiam, Rye

Saturday and Sunday June 23 and 24, 11.45am-12.15pm and 2.30pm-3pm

Free, donations welcome

Melvin Smith displays his collection of old gardening tools in the Great Barn and gives a talk on Yesterday’s Gardener, exploring the hierarchy, skills and myths of the Victorian gardener.

Phone 01797 254048 or visit

Horsted Keynes Open Gardens

Horsted Keynes, near Haywards Heath

Saturday June 23, 10am-1pm and 2pm-6pm

Tickets £5

The beautiful village of Horsted Keynes has a range of properties of all ages with gardens to match: some are very structural, others are more chaotic, some favour edibles and some contain bee hives. The church graveyard, which has an array of roses, will also be open. There will be plant sales of annuals and perennials alongside a cake and tea stall. Programmes will be available on the day from a stall on the village green.

Phone 07970 193053, email or visit

Peacehaven Open Gardens


Peacehaven, near Brighton

Saturday and Sunday June 23 and 24, 2pm-6pm

Tickets £4 for both days

Visit gardens in Peacehaven along with two community gardens and Peacehaven Allotments. A few of the eight gardens are new for this year. Refreshments will be available on both days along with arts and crafts to purchase at two of the gardens. All proceeds will be donated to St Wilfreds Hospice, Eastbourne. Tickets will be available from Peacehaven Horicultural Society, Peacehaven Town Council and all the gardens.

Phone  01273 589502 or 07805 857569, email or visit

Ambrose Place Back Gardens


Ambrose Place Back Gardens, Richmond Road, Worthing

Sunday June 24, 10am-5pm (all gardens closed between 1-2pm)

Tickets £6/children free

The highly acclaimed back gardens of Ambrose Place have been described as a horticultural phenomenon, and this year 11 gardens will be open for visitors as part of the National Garden Scheme. Behind a classic Regency terrace, itself the architectural jewel of Worthing, the gardens have a rich panoply of styles, plantings and layouts, drawing inspiration from such exotic diversity as Morocco, Provence and the Alhambra, to the more traditional sources of the English cottage and Victorian gardens, all within the typically limited space of a terrace. A variety of imaginative water features add to the charm. The gardens, all maintained by their amateur garden owners, have opened to the public since 1984 to appeal to the average town gardener looking for ideas. Some owners offer home-grown plants for sale. Tea and cakes will be available at No5 and Ambrose Villa. Pictures top left and below: Judi Lion Photography.



Rotherfield Village Open Gardens


Rotherfield, south of Tunbridge Wells

Sunday June 24, 11am-5.30pm

Tickets £5/children free

Around 15 gardens will be open in Rotherfield, a picturesque village in the High Weald with many Grade II listed buildings. The gardens include small courtyards, gardens with views, a flower arranger’s garden, quirky gardens and more. St Denys’ Church, a Grade I listed building with medieval wall paintings and a stained glass window made by William Morris, will also be open, and there’s a 1,500-year-old yew tree in the churchyard. Sandwiches, cakes, scones and teas will be available in the village hall. All proceeds go to St Denys’ Church new heating fund. Tickets can be bought at the village hall in North Street.

Phone 07770 886618, email or visit

Salvia and Mint Day

Great Dixter, Northiam, Rye

Monday June 25, 10.30am-4.30pm


In this study day, plantswoman Marina Christopher demonstrates the different species of salvia and mint and their botanical characteristics, their uses and their importance to the ecology of a garden.

Phone 01797 252878 or visit

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