Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Wednesday Walkabout - Spring gems in Sussex and Kent - Great Dixter, Gravetye Manor, Michelham Priory and The Walled Nursery

Great Dixter in East Sussex is always worth a visit - it's a jewel garden filled with colour throughout the season
Spring is sprung and gardens around the garden are awash with colour. There's always an incredible display of tulips at Great Dixter at this time of year - which marks just the beginning of another season of extraordinary eye candy at this wonderful garden, where head gardener, Fergus Garrett reigns supreme to ensure that every visitor leaves ecstatic! He worked alongside garden guru and owner, Christo Lloyd for many years and carries on the tradition of vibrant planting established by his mentor. 
William Robinson lived at Gravetye Manor and created the original gardens - Tom Coward has brought them back to life during his successful seven-year stewardship here
And not too far away, there's another amazing Sussex garden, under the stewardship of Tom Coward, who worked alongside Fergus at Great Dixter, before moving seven years ago to another legendary garden - Gravetye Manor - one-time home of William Robinson. Tom has done a remarkable job of restoring and rejuvenating the landscape here and it's a must-see garden - a great place to have afternoon tea and then take a wander round. 
Geoff Stonebanks' garden is an utterly delightful micro garden overlooking the sea in East Sussex
Another Sussex gem that opens regularly for charity, thanks to the extraordinary energy and effort of owner, Geoff Stonebanks, is Driftwood in Seaford, but check opening dates below. This is a magical micro garden overlooking the sea, filled with interesting plants and quirky, interesting ideas - rest assured, you'll never catch them all in a single visit. Check out Geoff's webpage here to see when the garden's open. You won't be disappointed.
Michelham Priory is in the heart of the East Sussex countryside near Hailsham and well worth a visit
Michelham Priory, near Hailsham is flourishing under head gardener, James Neal's care and is alive this week with tulips. A really good choice for children over the Easter holidays as there is a number hunt to keep them occupied and masses of space to run around in, while the grown ups can enjoy the bucolic setting of the priory and its grounds.
The Walled Nursery at Hawkhurst, Kent has a wonderful cafe if you're out plant hunting
And if you're putting your best foot forward on the hunt for plants and want to follow an interesting restoration project that's underway, head for The Walled Nursery near Hawkhurst in Kent, close enough to combine with Great Dixter or Sissinghurst. There's delicious food at The Winery Cafe on site and some interesting plants.

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