Highdown Gardens celebrates heritage with series of events

Released: Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Since it was founded by Sir Frederick Stern in 1909, Highdown Gardens has amassed a huge collection of rare and important plants - with some dating back more than 100 years.

This rich history is being celebrated at Highdown Gardens’ inaugural Plant Heritage Week - a series of talks, tours and workshops taking place from Wednesday 21 to Saturday 24 September.

The work to preserve Highdown Gardens’ living library of plants was made possible by funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This paid for a new visitor centre, accessible path and sensory garden as well as glasshouses hosting a plant propagation project to share plants raised from cuttings and seeds with other gardens.

Throughout Plant Heritage Week visitors will get a taste of what it takes to catalogue and maintain the collection through a series of events led by Plant Heritage Officer Alex New.

Photo: Herbaceous seedlings in the glass house

PR22-152 - Herbaceous seedlings in the glass house

On Wednesday 21 September Alex will be leading a tour of the gardens that showcases some of the most important plants in the collection and details the work carried out to conserve them.

A plant identification workshop will be taking place on Thursday 22 September, where visitors will learn how to recognise plants through their physical characteristics and family traits.

You can learn the theory of plant propagation and join Alex as he collects material from the garden at a workshop on Friday 23 September. Participants will get to take some propagated plants home with them too

Breakfast at The Highdown and an early morning tour of the gardens is on offer on Saturday 24 September - or you can head to the visitor’s centre later in the day for a talk on the history of the gardens and plans for the future.

Cllr Vicki Wells, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:

“Highdown Gardens is one of the best gardens in the south of England. It is a stunning collection of interconnected gardens with beautiful and rare plants and trees. The National Lottery Heritage-funded Visitors Centre, restored glasshouse, sensory garden and horticultural research mean that the rich history of Highdown will be enjoyed by generations to come.

“Plant Heritage Week is a great chance for people to visit this tranquil and stunning space for themselves and even buy a treat for their own garden in the pop-up shop.”

To find out more on Highdown's Plant Heritage Week and book a place, visit:

Photo: Highdown Gardens' Visitor Centre

PR22-152 - Highdown Gardens Visitor Centre


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Page last updated: 05 October 2022

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