They’ll form a great backdrop to the fabulous events programme lined up for 2021, kicking off with the Friends of Borde Hill Open Day on 12th February, giving the Garden’s most loyal supporters the chance to enjoy it before it opens to the public on 13th February for half term activities.
After Covid 19 struck the UK last year, so many people rediscovered the huge benefits of being outdoors in the fresh air, and a series of wellbeing events throughout 2021 will make the most of the Garden’s glorious countryside setting. On 22 March, 22 May and 2 October, women’s wellbeing days entitled A Wild Escape in Warren Wood will use bushcraft activities and ‘woodland bathing’ exercises to help participants regain balance and escape the pressures of everyday life, while on 12 May, 16 June and 14 July, visitors can enjoy the Garden’s seasonal highlights using touch and smell as well as sight, on a Nature for Wellbeing guided sensory walk.
Then on 12 June, let nature’s beauty inspire inner peace with a unique early-morning Mandala yoga session on the South Lawn. There’s also a Focus 10k run to raise money for local charity Chailey Heritage Foundation in the scenic parkland on 6th June.
From 13-21st February, the whole family can enjoy a Wellbeing Welly Walk – be inspired by motivational mottos and practice yoga techniques while searching for hidden wellies! On 5th June and 7th August, families can try their hand at den building, fire-lighting and cooking marshmallows on a stick with a family bushcraft experience called Wilderness Camp. From 17th July to 11th Sept there will be will be a special summer trial, The Enchanted Woodland, to inspire the creation of fantasy creatures, and there’s plenty more for kids in 2021 too… They can find hidden pirate treasure on Bertram Bunny’s Easter Pirate Adventure from 2-17 April, and over May half term (29th May – 6th June), they could sign up to be Eco Explorers and follow a woodland trail designed to help connect them to nature and encourage sustainable living by reducing, re-using and recycling. On 13th August, a performance of Mr Stink will see David Walliam’s book brought to life in the open air, and there will be a super-spooky Halloween Hocus Pocus trail from 16th -31st October.
Music is always a big part of the Borde Hill events programme and 2021 will be no exception. Bring a picnic to enjoy live Music In The Garden between 1 and 3pm on 4th and 18th July, and again on 15th and 29th August. There will be Open Air Opera performances too – Tosca on 23rd July and The Marriage of Figaro on 24th July - as well as an opportunity to enjoy exclusive access to the Garden with live music and cinema under the stars for Music and Movie Nights on 20th and 21st August.
Art lovers won’t want to miss spectacular Form In Nature, a sculpture exhibition running from 7th May to 30th September, while the Sussex Guild Contemporary Craft Show returns with a wonderful variety of well-designed and beautifully made arts and crafts for sale on 19th and 20th June.
And of course there are plenty of unmissable events for garden-lovers too, kicking off with two weeks of celebrations (between 20th- 31st March) to mark the 80th Anniversary of camellia x williamsii 'Donation' being cultivated at Borde Hill by Colonel Stephenson R. Clarke. The celebrations include pre-bookable guided tours of the renowned camellia collection for groups, and a small exhibition telling the history of Camellia 'Donation' and how it won an RHS Award of Merit in 1941. Individuals can also book a guided Camellia Heritage Tour on 28th March and there will be Camellia 'Donation' plants for sale from the shop.
The Specialist Plant Fairs are always a big draw and will this year take place at Borde Hill on 18th April and 12th September, while Rose Celebration Weeks will run from 14th-27th June. On 18th June, the Garden is delighted to be welcoming Michael Marriott, Chief Rosarian at David Austin Roses for a talk on ‘Growing The Most Beautiful Roses’ (18th June). TV presenter and garden designer Juliet Sargeant will be running a practical workshop entitled ‘Design A Romantic Border’ on 7th July, and on 6th September, Borde Hill will open to support the National Garden Scheme (NGS), with all profits going to a variety of good causes.
Other highlights include the chance to enjoy Sussex, British and worldwide gins at Sussex Gin Fest on 10 July, as well as the spectacle of Harley Davidson bikes visiting the Garden (with music and locally produced ales) on 5th September.
Please note that entry and some events must be pre-booked – see website for details.
Entry to Borde Hill Garden remains the same as last year: £9.95 per person, Child £6.70, Group £7.95, Free to Friends of Borde Hill. Annual Membership starts from £32.
Borde Hill Garden is open 13th February until 1 November 10am -5pm.