High Beeches Garden opens

Readers' news
Readers' news

High Beeches, one of the finest gardens in Sussex, is now open to visitors. The original Loder garden, the 25 acre gardens are a botanical treasure laid out amongst scenic glades and valleys with pretty woodland and streams.

New this year, to mark the start of WWI, will be the ‘Exclusive Centenary Breakfasts’. Join the owner and gardener for breakfast and a tour of the garden. This will focus on the magnificent plants planted by Col, Loder in 1914. Tickets £25 in advance only. The first breakfast will be Saturday 17 May 2014.

The gardens have an interesting history and Queen Mary used to enjoy walking in these gardens with Colonel Loder. The walk named Queen Mary’s Walk takes you past impressive rhododendrons and onto Forrest’s Bridge which has a bank now planted with several species of smaller rhododendrons and deliciously scented yellow Primula helodoxa from Yunnan in China.

Colonel Loder first started planting here in 1906. Two other members of the family went on to found two other great gardens of Sussex, Wakehurst and Leonardslee. Following his death in 1968 the garden was acquired by Anne and Edward Boscawen. They have continued to manage the garden retaining the beauty and tranquillity of the sensitively planted natural landscape, which is listed Grade II by English Heritage. Graceful in maturity the garden is an oasis away from the busy world around.

In spring visitors can meander through the beauty and tranquillity of the garden amongst magnolias growing amid hosts of daffodils. The pretty, miniature narcissi flourish here. In early summer the paths and glades are carpeted in swathes of bluebells and surrounded by the glorious colour and fragrance of the multitude of azaleas and rhododendrons. The sumptuous Rhododendron Loderi are at their best now.

In mid-summer the unique and ancient acid wildflower meadow is a magical sight in June. The meadow is a registered Site of Nature Conservation Interest and is the best natural, acid, wildflower meadow in West Sussex, having never been ploughed or cultivated in living memory. Mid-summer is a peaceful time to enjoy the wildlife attracted by the numerous wildflowers throughout the garden. In mid to late August the azure blue willow gentians are in flower and High Beeches is the only garden in England where they are naturalised.

Autumn brings a breath-taking display of colour, among the best in the country, provided by the spectacular nyssas, acers and liquidambers growing throughout the garden.These beautiful gardens are now open for the new season and will be open every day except Wednesdays until 2 November between 1pm and 5pm. There are a choice of three different walks which take visitors to various points of interest around the gardens.

Adults £7.00 under 14’s free. A season ticket is £24. The restaurant and tea room serve delicious lunches and cream teas.

For further information, for group bookings or to book tickets for the Centenary Breakfasts call 01444 400 589 or visit www.highbeeches.com

Report contributed by Pennington PR.