Posted 27 June 2014 by Andrew Gardner
If you're visiting Sussex for the annual Glyndebourne Festival that's now under way, amid the opera, costumes, posing and picnics don't forget to make time for the fabulous and newly-revamped garden.
Designer John Hoyland took on the challenge of revitalising the garden, for many years so beautifully worked by Mary Christie with more than a little help from her friend and neighbour Christopher Lloyd - I mean, if such a renowned plantsman was my neighbour, I'd certainly draft him in; wouldn't you?! Anyway, Hoyland was tasked with living up to that legacy and taking the gardens forward - in his own words: "The garden had stopped singing and it needed to sing again" - and the gardening critics seem to have given him a big thumbs-up.
One of the key changes has been to make intimate areas for picnics on the lawns, respecting the way that people visiting Glyndebourne like to use the spaces. It's also a challenge with not only the chalky soil and windy weather but all those feet trampling the lawns, not to mention the Champagne, which, he said, "goes everywhere and burns the grass". So Champagne is a great weedkiller, apparently!
The main work, however, involved moving the coach park away from the front of the house - so there's now a beautiful flowering meadow there to offset the building; and double flower borders along the rear terraces where visitors love to promenade during intervals, and which now forms a pretty walk from the car park. He's also proud of the way scent has been used - with a focus on flowers with evening scent, so that you walk out of the opera house with music soaring in your head, only to have it enhanced with fabulous, sensory flower perfumes wafting on the air.
We have plenty of pretty holiday properties within easy reach of Glyndebourne and its garden - with some of the loveliest parts of East Sussex right on your doorstep - click here to view our selection. From premier holiday homes to cosy cottages, many with lovely gardens and views of their own, we can help.