One of the great gardens of the Sussex Weald with a collection of rare and beautiful plants from all over the world, including breathtaking spring colour in the walled garden, an old-fashioned rose garden, summer borders and much more. The romantic ruins of the family mansion, part destroyed by fire in 1947, can be seen and five of the remaining Messel family rooms are open. The wider estate offers wonderful woodland walks and a wild garden.
Described as ‘one of the country’s truly great gardens’ by Country Life magazine, Borde Hill is more than just a beautiful and historic garden. It not only boasts outstanding views across 200 acres of Grade II listed parkland and woodland, but also a nationally important collection of fine trees and shrubs, including 80 champion trees. The formal garden is planted as distinctive ‘rooms’, each offering an abundance of colour and interest throughout the seasons. Explore the adventure playground, relax with a lakeside picnic, enjoy home-cooked food at Café Elvira, gourmet meals at Jeremys Restaurant or a special gift from the Green Tree Gallery. www.bordehill.co.uk
This magnificent informal landscape garden was laid out in the 18th century by ‘Capability’ Brown and further developed in the early years of the 20th century by its owner, Arthur G. Soames. The original four lakes form the centrepiece. There are dramatic shows of daffodils and bluebells in spring, and the rhododendrons and azaleas are spectacular in early summer. Autumn brings stunning colours from the many rare trees and shrubs, and winter walks can be enjoyed in this garden for all seasons. Visitors can now also explore South Park, 107 hectares (265 acres) of historic parkland, with stunning views. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
This magnificent garden is affiliated to Kew Gardens and is home to the Millennium Seed Bank. Visit the interactive exhibition at the heart of this £80m international conservation project. See scientists at work and discover how Kew is helping to safeguard the world’s most endangered plants. Explore the work of the project and learn how the seeds survive, for hundreds of years, in massive underground vaults at minus 20 degrees Celsius. www.kew.org
Enthusiastic gardeners will not want to miss Christopher Lloyd’s vibrant colours and iconic designs set out in the beautiful gardens surrounding the Manor of Dixter. www.greatdixter.co.uk
Home of the Bloomsbury Set artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. www.charleston.org.uk
Michelham Priory and Gardens
Events include outdoor theatre, Celtic festivals and Medieval weekends. www.sussexpast.co.uk