This summer we took a private tour of west dean gardens, West Sussex. I was so lucky to go there mid-August as I think that this was the time west dean gardens were absolutely in full bloom.
In case you didn’t know, the gardens are cared for by volunteers and every plant, flower and piece of produce that is sewn is used to cater in the stately homes restaurant and for on-site events and courses. All the photographs in today’s post were taken on my iPhone.
*WARNING, photo heavy post full of floral delight*
There is colour everywhere and if you go in September there will still be a vibrant feast of colours from the Dahlia growing in the beds amongst the historic stone walled garden. It would be hard to name an English flower that is not grown there and as I strolled around the gravel paths, I found myself pointing my camera phone at almost every flower head that I saw. I was totally blown away and West Dean gardens are definitely the place to go if you are looking for planting design, garden inspiration or just fancy a pop of colour and creativity in your daily life.
In fact I was so impressed by West Deans planting design that my trips to other gardens this summer have been somewhat deflated. West Dean gardens in West Sussex have set the bar pretty high and you will be stumped to find an English garden that competes. My images speak for themselves and even on a rainy day, the walled garden oozed creativity at its finest.
The restoration of the garden to get it to its current state began after the storm of 1987. Since then, Gardens Manager Jim Buckland and Gardens Supervisor Sarah Wain have carried out a bold re-development programme designed to bring the nineteenth-century gardens into the twenty-first century. Jim and Sarah have divided the 90 acres of grounds into four distinct areas: the entrance of the garden; the walled kitchen garden; the pleasure grounds and St Roche’s Arboretum.
There have been gardens on this site since 1622 when the original manor house was built by James Lewkenor. In 1804, when the current house was built, the gardens were enlarged and the park was laid out, and the kitchen garden was moved to its present position and enclosed by walls. Many of the existing mature beeches, limes, horse chestnuts, planes and cedars date from this period and the present layout owes much to their planting. In 1818 the garden was extended to the west and flint walls were added.
Weat Dean Gardens are currently an un spoilt location for photographers and instagrammars afar. I have a feeling that next Summer, this will be the location to hang out at.
In the meantime, if you are looking for another event to explore and maybe catch some pumpkins in the vegetable garden then why not check out the activities on offer for October half term at West dean gardens.
I am so excited to see the gardens create a different color pallet and almost spooky setting. I can just hear the crunch of next season’s leaves underneath my gardening boots already.