Tuesday, 10 November 2020

A fabulous line-up of events for 2021


The team at Borde Hill Garden, near Haywards Heath in West Sussex, have been busy planting thousands of bulbs, including 4,000 Muscari armeniacum ‘Peppermint’ along Paradise Walk, and masses of Fritillaria imperialis ‘Red Rubra’ and Allium ‘Globemaster’ in the newly redesigned Italian Garden.   

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

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Specialist Plant Fair at Borde Hill Garden, 13 September, 10am-3pm

An exciting line-up of leading UK plant nurseries will be at Borde Hill Garden in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, for the Plant Fairs Roadshow on 13 September this year. 

RHS Chelsea Flower Show multi award-winning nurseries Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, Graham Blunt's Plantbase, Phoenix Plants, Blackstem Plants and Beechbridge Plants will all also be offering a superb range of plants, alongside Southon Plants, Usual & Unusual Plants, Charleshurst Farm Nursery, Pineview Plants  Nursery, Pelham Plants, Miles Japanese Maples, Forget Me Not Plants and the Sussex Group of the Hardy Plant Society.  Copton Ash Nursery, an alpine specialist that offers a wide range of Mediterranean, umbellifer and woodland plants will also be exhibiting, and there will be a range of exciting garden sculptures from Five Two Designs. 

In addition, the Plant Fairs Roadshows very own Plant Doctor will be able to answer your plant questions and to help you find the right plant for the right place in your garden!

Borde Hill’s gardening team will be available during the event (with social distancing) to answer your questions. 

In late summer, there is still plenty of colour to be enjoyed at Borde Hill Garden, with Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’, Miscanthus sinensis and Pennisetum ‘Hameln’ looking particularly lovely in the late afternoon sun. The Midsummer Border, still colourful despite its name, is home to Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’, Verbena bonariensis, Gold Standard roses, Calamagrostis brachytrichaSedum ‘Marchants Best Red’, crocosmias as well as Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’, while white Japanese anemones take over in the White Garden.  Josephine’s Way is the place to see selections of carex, pennisetum and panicum looking their best, interplanted with gorgeous ‘Mystic Series’ dahlias.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy 40 sculptures being exhibited throughout the Garden until the end of September, and there are panoramic views over the lakes and 200 acres of rolling parkland to enjoy. 

The Plant Fairs Roadshow is open from 10am -3pm (www.plant-fairs.co.uk)

Entry to the Plant Fair: £8 per person (free to Friends of Borde Hill only) RHS, BBC Gardeners’ World and & HHA members pay full price. Due to Covid-19 restrictions tickets are limited and need to be pre-booked at: www.bordehill.co.uk/bookyourvisit/

Thursday, 6 August 2020

'The Artist's Garden' Summer Art Exhibition at Borde Hill Garden

The Artist’s Garden was officially opened on the 1st August by Jo McGowan from sponsor 1st Central Insurance, and Andrewjohn Stephenson Clarke of Borde Hill. The exhibition features 40 affordable artworks by established and up-and-coming artists inspired by flora and fauna, with pieces displayed throughout the Garden for visitors to enjoy. 

Jo McGowan, HR Director at 1st Central, said:

“We’re delighted to once again support Borde Hill Garden and their stunning Artist’s Garden Exhibition, with the beauty of this wonderful environment proving the perfect setting to host such an event.

"We’re very privileged to have such a stunning attraction in our local community and we’re delighted to continue to provide our support.”

In addition to an enticing selection of garden sculptures in metal, bronze resin and stained glass, the exhibition will includes a number of batik, ceramic and smaller works displayed within the Garden Shop and Green Tree Gallery. Uniting the collection is a fascination with the beauty of nature, the countryside and the feelings they evoke within us.

Pieces include ‘The Dream’ by Christine Baxter, a figurative work who’s subject is lost in contemplation, to works inspired by the plants and flowers found within the Garden, such as Chris Kampf’s metallic ‘Rudbeckia Stems’ and ‘Shuttlecock Ferns’Joe Szabo’s beautiful stained glass ‘Iris Trio’, and Rosi Robinson’s batik painting ‘Floating Leaves’. There are also works which celebrate native wildlife found within the Garden and Parkland including owls, pheasants and hares.

The exhibition runs daily from 1st August – 30th September 2020 with admission included in the standard entry price. An exhibition map will be provided with all pieces available to purchase.

For music lovers, on selected Sunday’s in August and September between 1-3pm, there will be live music on the South Lawn (with plenty of space for social distancing) will include the toe-tapping rhythms of Brazil and Cuba with the Quinto Latin Trio on 16 August, and vintage jazz trio, Three Penny Piece on 30 August, reviving old-time favourites from the 1930s, 40’s and 50’s.

Musical Picnics - Live music on Sundays

Younger visitors can explore The Garden of Imagination summer trail, running daily until the 13th September. £2 per trail, plus admission, to include a prize (FREE to Friends).

Garden entry is currently by pre-bookable tickets only in order to manage numbers and ensure social distancing. Reserve your time slot at www.bordehill.co.uk/bookyourvisit

Thursday, 2 July 2020

A Summer of Music, Creativity & Fun

Enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air with plenty of space for social distancing this summer at Borde Hill Garden, where there is a fabulous event programme celebrating music, creativity and imagination throughout July, August and September. 

* From 18th July to 13th September, younger visitors will be able to explore The Garden of Imagination, a mystical story trail through the Garden and Woodland featuring fantasy creatures including unicorns, fairies, giants and a golden phoenix.  

* On selected Sundays in July, August and September (1-3pm) enjoy live music on the South Lawn. Bands include Brighton-based jazz and soul duo Melissa and Reece on 26 July, the toe-tapping rhythms of Brazil and Cuba with the Quinto Latin Trio on 16 August, and vintage jazz trio Three Penny Piece (above) on 30 August, reviving old-time favourites from the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

* From 1 August to 30 September, visitors can enjoy meandering through The Artist’s Garden, with around 30 artworks inspired by the beauty of nature and the countryside, from both established and up-and-coming artists. In addition to a great selection of garden sculptures in metal, stone, bronze resin and stained glass, the exhibition, kindly sponsored by local employer 1ST CENTRAL, will also include a number of paintings and smaller works displayed within the Green Tree Gallery.  An exhibition map will be provided with the majority of pieces available to purchase. (Watch this space for details of a large-scale Sculpture Exhibition to be held between May and October 2021 too!)

* On 13th September, the Plant Fairs Roadshow comes to Borde Hill, with a Specialist Plant Fair offering an exciting line-up of leading UK plant nurseries and a host of new and unusual plants to buy.

* And of course throughout July and August, visitors can experience the beauty of the Rose Garden at its peak, with 750 David Austin roses filling the air with a heavenly scent. The serenity of the Italian Garden is a fabulous place to relax too, with its striking water feature and fabulous views. 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions tickets are limited and need to be pre-booked https://www.bordehill.co.uk/bookyourvisit/

Thursday, 2 April 2020

April in the Garden

"Although we’re working in unique and unprecedented times, there is still plenty to keep myself and my garden team busy at Borde Hill. We’re having to adjust to the new working conditions, ensuring we work in different parts of the garden, and have breaks at different times during the day, but being out in nature is helping to keep spirits high.

April brings a busy time in the garden. The start of British Summer Time heralds a new season where flashes of colour begin to appear across our numerous garden ‘rooms’, and the bright mornings filled with birdsong are hard to beat. 

Across the garden we’re continuing to mulch borders to lock in moisture and protect against weeds. 

In the Garden of Allah we’ve finished cutting back the cornus and salix, to ensure they achieve their full size later in the season, whilst in the Blue and Autumn Borders, the team have been coppicing the cotinus and sambucus for foliage. It’s time to prune your hydrangeas and reliable summer-flowering penstemons. 

It’s important to prune spring flowering shrubs such as chaenomeles after they finish flowering, as well as ensuring you protect new shoots of plants such as delphiniums and hostas to avoid the slugs and snails getting them. In the Rose Garden, new shoots are beginning to show, and we’re feeding the roses to ensure a strong display of colour later in the season. 

Now is the time to fertilise your lawn, and at Borde Hill that means tending to both the South Lawn and also that in the Azalea Ring. As the weather has been good, we have started to mow the lawns, and will sow grass seed from the middle of the month to encourage a good covering throughout the year. 

In the glasshouses we’re checking that the heating is effective as frosts are still likely, but also ensuring they are well ventilated as the days begin to warm up. It’s important to watch out for aphid infestations and we often damp down the glasshouses during warm spells to lessen the chance of red spider mite. The team are propagating perennials from basal cuttings including delphiniums, and these will be used to bulk out our herbaceous borders.

Any annuals sown recently should be pricked out, and it’s worth keeping an eye out for damping off. Also note that half hardy annuals can be sown now, and for those with more of an indoor focus, it’s worth remembering to water and feed houseplants, cacti and succulents. 

It’s a beautiful time of year with much colour across the garden, including: Magnolias, Rhododendrons, Narcissus, Hellebores, Viburnums, Stachyurus, Primulas, Leucojums, Fritillaries, Camellias, Chaenomeles and Flowering cherries.”

Andy Stevens,
Head Gardener