Posted 18 February 2019 by Andrew Gardner
Here are three of our favourites in West Sussex, all easy to reach from our cosy cottages in the High Weald.
Don't forget to look out for the 2019 'Yellow Book' of gardens open for charity under the National Gardens Scheme, a lovely source of inspiration plus a sneak peek into English life. And word has it that the long-awaited Leonardslee reopening really will happen this spring – I can't wait!
In a fabulous High Weald setting, Wakehurst is the Sussex arm of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and has more than 500 acres of wild planting, ornamental gardens, woodland and nature reserve. You can easily spend a couple of hours or a whole day wandering around outside – but you can also go indoors to learn about the Millennium Seed Bank. This is the world's largest wild seed conservation project and it really is awesome. Wakehurst also hosts plenty of gardening, art, crafts and family events throughout the year.
Recharge your batteries exploring this glorious, quintessentially English, National Trust garden, surrounded by lush green countryside with views over the Sussex Weald. From vibrant summer borders to ancient woodland and a rare plant collection there's plenty to discover and inspire you all year round – and if you're there in spring, don't miss the camellias. Daily guided walks and talks, plus a small art gallery and even a secondhand bookshop, plus lots for children – not least a lovely, wild place to play.
Opens for the 2019 season on 25th March, just in time for fabulous spring displays including magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas. Summer brings beautiful herbaceous borders and charming, fragrant roses, while in autumn the mature trees put on a superb display of colour. It's a vast and lovely garden you can roam in, have a picnic by the lakes, walk the dog (dogs must be on leads, but are very welcome), play or just sit on a bench and enjoy the scenery. Plenty of fun family events too, from Easter Egg Hunts to Hallowe'en Trails.