Highdown Gardens A hidden gem on the South Downs
About Highdown Gardens: These beautiful chalk gardens in the South Downs countryside situated between Ferring and Goring, overlooking the sea, are a tranquil haven for all to enjoy.
They are home to The National Plant Collection of the plant introductions of Sir Fredrick Stern - a unique collection of unusual plants and trees to be discovered all year round.
Our gardeners regularly blog about what is currently happening in the gardens and what might be of interest to see when you visit:
I am Pete the new Senior gardener at Highdown gardens. My gardening career started over 12 years ago. I trained at Stanmer Park which was then part of Brighton College, since then I have worked at several of the great gardens of Sussex, as well as managing a small National Trust garden for 7 years. I joined Highdown Gardens in August 2020.
It is an interesting time in the Garden's history, I am sure many of you know, the Garden was awarded heritage lottery funding, to preserve the plant collection and to improve the visitor experience. We are currently shut, but hope to be open as soon as we reasonably can.
The Garden Team are at present hard at work tidying the mature parts of the Garden, as well as putting the finishing touches to the landscaping and planting around the new Sensory Garden, visitor centre and accessible path.
This would be a good opportunity to introduce you to the team of gardeners at Highdown:
- Claire is the longest serving member of the team with several years' experience working in the Garden, and Claire has been the lead on the design and planting of the new Sensory Garden.
- Toby joined the Garden in August 2020 like me and has taken on managing the entrance areas as well as the famous Old Chalk Garden.
- Charlotte has a wealth of garden experience including studying at RHS Wisley, she is looking after the Lower Garden which contains the main perennial beds, as well as collections of tree peonies and interesting shrubs.
- Dan is the newest member of the team, after successfully running his own garden business; he is now caring for the Middle Garden otherwise known as the Tree and Shrub Garden.
As we are a largely new team, we are enjoying learning about the history of the Garden, and watching the plants burst into life through the late winter and early spring.
Photo: Left to right Toby, Charlotte, Pete, Claire and Dan
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Page last updated: 17 August 2021