A SERIES of lost features in an Arts & Crafts garden in West Sussex have been restored and its revival is currently the subject of an exhibition.
The five-year £500,000 restoration at the National Trust’s Standen at East Grinstead began after a group of volunteers discovered a swimming pond while clearing out some overgrown bamboo in part of the garden.
The house, with views over the High Weald and Weir Wood Reservoir, was designed for James Beale and his family in the late 19th century by Arts & Crafts architect Philip Webb.
But it was Beale’s wife Margaret, an accomplished gardener and plants-woman, who designed the 12-acre hillside garden. Inspired by a world tour in 1906-07, she created a series of outdoor rooms at Standen, including a scented rose garden – the Rosery – and a lime tree walk, along with more exotic areas with bamboo, ponds and lush foliage.
The restored Rosery Picture: National Trust Images/Andrew Butler
An espalier apple tree with blossom in the kitchen garden Picture: National Trust Images/Andrew Butler
James Masters, head gardener at Standen, explains: “Over the years, our discoveries included lost walls, a rock garden and rare and unusual plants all overgrown by the modern planting that had masked the original beauty of Margaret Beale’s design.
“So we were lucky to have a wealth of archive material that has helped us research how it would have looked, ranging from family photographs to Margaret’s garden diaries which she kept for over 40 years.”
Among the restored features are the original swimming pond and rose garden growing Margaret Beale’s China pink roses, a fine oak trellis rebuilt to the original design by Philip Webb, lime trees reinstated along Grandfather’s walk, 10,000 tulips, the kitchen garden and the original espaliered apple trees, new views opened from the top terrace across to Ashdown Forest and new Arts & Crafts-inspired planting in the house courtyard.
The lime trees along Grandfather’s walk Picture: National Trust Images/Andrew Butler
The restored swimming pond Picture: National Trust Images/Andrew Butler