Sunday, 29 July 2018

cid:image007.jpg@01D04058.95F73410‘The Artist’s Garden’           kindly sponsored by 1st CENTRAL cid:image007.jpg@01D04058.95F73410
Summer Art Exhibition at Borde Hill Garden, 1stAugust – 30thSeptember 2018 
Borde Hill Garden has been an inspiration for horticulturalists and artists for generations and this summer they are proud to continue this tradition by displaying the artistic response to the beauty of nature, countryside and gardens. 
Opening on 1stAugust, visitors will be able to explore the historical Garden, renowned for its rare shrubs and champion trees, where they will discover approximately 40 works by established and up-and-coming artists inspired by both flora and fauna.
In addition to an enticing selection of garden sculptures in metal, stone, bronze resin and stained glass, the exhibition, sponsored by local employer, 1STCENTRAL, will also include a number of paintings and smaller works displayed within the Garden shop and Green Tree Gallery. Uniting the work is their common fascination with the beauty of nature, the countryside and the feelings they evoke within us. 
Andy James, UK CEO, 1STCENTRAL, said “We’re delighted to be able to support the art exhibition which brings together such a vast array of talent to the locality, Visitors to the garden will be able to look forward to a cultural extravaganza this summer”.
Pieces will include ‘Sun-Worshipper’ by Christine Baxter, a figurative work who’s subject is lost in dreamy contemplation on a warm summer’s afternoon - to works inspired by the plants, flowers and natural forms, many found within the Garden and Sussex countryside, such as Will Spankie’sFlower Form’ carved from Stone, Alison Catchlove’sintricate metallic ‘Rose Garden’ panel, and Sally Scottsvibrant landscape painting 'Colours of the Weald’
There will also be works that celebrate the native wildlife found within the Garden and Parkland including owls, ducks and rabbits.
Visitors will also be able to see elements of ‘Natural Kinaesthesia’- an installation by floral design collective La Famillethat was presented at this years Chelsea Flower Show. The installation incorporates shade-loving plants suspended within orbs and created especially for Chelsea using foliage, cuttings and greenery taken from Borde Hill Garden.

The exhibition will run daily from 1st August – 30th September 2018 with admission included in the standard entry price.  This event is part of the ‘Celebration of Art, Creativity and Imagination’ summer programme at Borde Hill.
An exhibition map will be provided with the majority of pieces available to purchase.
2019 will see a large-scale exhibition between May - October, celebrating 20 years of Art and Sculpture at Borde Hill Garden.  
Artists INCLUDE:
Alison Catchlove
Allan Mackenzie
Christine Baxter 
Dot Kuzniar
Harriet Francis
Ian Marlow
Jason Mulligan
Joe Szabo
La Famille – Paul Malget
Mark Reed
Paul Cox
Paul Harvey
Sally Scott
Will Spankie
Zeljko Ivankovic

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Emmenopterys Henryi - Heatwave brings on the blooms of a rare tree that has only previously flowered 3  times in its 90 year life-time.

Emmenopterys henryi, a deciduous tree thats native to central and south-western China, planted in 1928 at Borde Hill in Haywards Heath, is about to burst into a mass of bloom thanks to an exceptionally cold winter followed by one of the hottest summers on record. 

Described by the great Edwardian plant hunter EH Wilson as "one of the most strikingly beautiful trees of Chinese forests", the Emmenopterys, was introduced to the UK in 1907.  It is notoriously shy to flower in the West and has only flowered 4 times in the country on record to date.

Borde Hills largest specimen celebrates its 90th birthday this year and was grown from seed collected by eminent plant hunter George Forrest on an expedition in Southern China. The seed was sent home to his sponsor Col Stephenson R Clarke of Borde Hill who duly planted it in his Azalea Ring. 
The Colonels beloved tree is currently a mass of buds and about to burst forth in bloom for just the fourth time in its lifetime. Close by the 90 year old tree is a smaller Emmenopterys a specimen from Kew Gardens, collected by EH Wilson at turn of the 20th century. This tree, now 40 years old, has flowered twice before and is currently covered in buds too.

Andrewjohn Stephenson Clarke, great grandson to the Colonel, says: We are incredibly lucky to have both the Wilson and Forrest Emmenopterys about to bloom. My grandfather planted the 90 year old specimen but never saw it flower in his lifetime, neither did his son or grandson, we had to wait four generations before it first flowered in 2011. The Colonel would have been fascinated by the weather conditions we have experienced in Southern England this year and its effect on our plant collection. He kept detailed notes of every seed and tree planted on the estate, and his correspondence with both Wilson and Forrest makes for fascinating reading. If he were here today he would be thrilled to see Forrests Emmenopterys henryi in bud and about to bloom alongside the younger specimen in the 125th anniversary year of his garden.

George Forrest was a plant hunter and explorer who undertook seven major expeditions. Forrests travels were adventurous in the extreme - he suffered through the jungles and was subjected to swarms of insects, survived exposure to poisonous plants, avoided sheer cliffs and deep gorges, escaped warring tribes and malaria which killed one of his travelling companions. He was responsible for introducing hundreds of species in to Western cultivation including the Emmenopterys henryi. 

Forrest's prize Emmenopterys tree is strikingly beautiful with reddish-purple young shoots and red leaves in spring, which mature to a glossy green, producing a shock of small white flowers.

Andy Stevens, head gardener at Borde Hill says: the cold winter, followed by our extended hot summer may have helped to produce this bumper collection of buds this year. We had a small showing of flowers in 2011 and 2016 but nothing like the number of buds we have this year. We hope that the blooms will bring in tree fans from far and wide!

The blooms are expected to come out in the 2nd week of August, but please check website for updates:
Telephone: +44(0)1444-450326

Friday, 22 January 2016

Early Flowering Magnolias

Magnolia campbelli
The Magnolia sprengeri var. diva is coming into flower, two months early at Borde Hill Garden near Haywards Heath, West Sussex, but with hard frost forecast could this damage the flowers?

We shouldn’t worry too much – after all there is nothing we can do to stop Mother Nature’s quirky turns – and instead of searching on Amazon for arboreal-sized duvets, perhaps we should look forward to what we can expect to see during the ‘normal’ spring magnolia flowering period of March and April.

Borde Hill has a fine collection of Magnolias, many planted in the 1920’s by the gardens founder, Col. Stephenson R Clarke, a mad keen plant collector and a committed magnoliaphile. Seven are classified as ‘champions’ and two as ‘remarkable’ (champion near miss) by the tree measuring folk. Magnolia campbelli at 19m tall is always an impressive sight – a bright pink beacon in the Sussex countryside indicating to planes in the Gatwick stack that you are over Borde Hill. Another ‘wow’ is Magnolia sargentiana var.robusta.  First flowering in 1938 with five fine blooms (we are told) and again in 1940 with over 100 blooms, nowadays the bloom count must be in four figures.

Whilst having plants in the size ‘premier league’  is important, we, as all good tree folk should, think to the future. In Col. Clarkes day, magnolia varieties were quite limited. Today there are 100’s to choose from – pinks, whites, purples and even yellow – yes, yellow.  In the past few years we have planted over 75 new varieties including Banana Split, Joli Pompom and Star Wars (whacky names is not usually the main criteria when choosing  new plants).
So as Jack Frost hops around your garden tonight  turning your impetuous blooms brown, rest assured that most magnolia flowers are still tightly tucked up in their furry perules (botanical overcoats) waiting for the warmth of spring to reveal themselves.
Head Gardener, Andy Stevens in front of the
impressive Magnolia sargentiana var.robusta
Amazing Magnolias: Guided Walk

Join Head Gardener, Andy Stevens for a guided tour of Borde Hill’s magnificent collection of early-flowering magnolias, as shown on BBC2 Gardeners’ World (click to view the video)

Andy will be guiding visitors through the Garden, discussing the beauty of the magnolias, their origins and cultivation.

Guided tours available on: Tuesday 5th & 12th April at 11.30am. £11.00 per person [£10.00 excluding Gift Aid] including Garden entry.  Book your place here.

For more information visit
Borde Hill Garden, near Haywards Heath, West Sussex is open to the public daily between 10am-5pm weekdays and until 6pm weekends from 19th March-2nd October and 22nd-30th October.

Entry is £8.20 for adults, £7.80 concessions and £5.50 per child.  A family ticket (2+2) is £23.