Now's the time of year when gardens start to flourish for the summer season. A stroll through picturesque Sussex villages will reveal glimpses of many stunning cottage gardens, and many of our holiday properties offer charming private gardens or grounds to relax in; some have a pool, too.
I think May and June are especially glorious here in Sussex, with the wild roses and honeysuckle starting to show in the hedgerows and the grass and trees all vibrant with new growth while bees and other pollinating insects get busy - it's quintessential English chocolate-box scenery. Not to mention lambs in the fields!
If you're staying in West Sussex and have the use of a car it's not so far to RHS Wisley, and whether you're a gardening enthusiast or just looking for a glorious, flower-filled stroll I do recommend a visit. The late summer flower show in September is quite a spectacle, but the gardens are fabulous whenever you visit and there's so much to see that a day trip is well worthwhile. It's also geared up for every sort of visitor so can be appreciated by the less able as well as the fit and active among us.
The National Garden Scheme
is flourishing too, and all over East Sussex
and West Sussex
, as well as nearby parts of Surrey and Hampshire, you'll find beautiful private gardens to visit throughout the summer and autumn that wouldn't otherwise be open to the public, as well as special NGS days and events at well-known properties such as Great Dixter (which you really shouldn't miss). One thing I love about visiting NGS gardens is that the owners are always on hand to chat and share knowledge, especially useful if they're on similar soil to your own home. Another attraction is the tea and cake - usually home made! There are also some sensory gardens among them, with planting for texture and fragrance, for example. These are perfect for visitors with impaired vision, but also much loved by young children.
So whether you stir beyond your holiday cottage garden or just enjoy the view at your feet, there is something floral for everyone in Sussex!