Strolling around the beautiful gardens one glorious early evening last week we seemed to be the only people in the gardens, visiting many different corners and admiring spectacular borders and grand vistas.
Harry Baldwin, Head of Horticulture at Borde Hill Garden and Parkland, began his tour in the azalea ring, pointing out one of the gardens’ many rare trees (Emmenopterys henryi). Described by the great Edwardian plant hunter EH Wilson as “One of the most strikingly beautiful trees of Chinese forests”, the Emmenopterys, was introduced to the UK in 1907. It’s notoriously shy to flower in the West and has only flowered four times in this country on record to date. It’s a sign of the times that this is getting more frequent.
Borde Hill holds the largest collection of ‘Champion’ trees to be found in private collection in the British Isles. Champion trees are the largest trees of their species growing in the UK.
At every turn a different scent would waft on the breeze.
Karen Manton-Cook, Executive Manager at Borde Hill Garden explained the many exciting developments expected with lottery funding. Visitor numbers have grown significantly, doubling in recent years. As she explained, there’s something going on almost every week, including many open air performances – see details about Bark in The Park.
After the tour of the gardens we were entertained with a short programme from Sussex Harmonisers, a performance that transported everyone in the room with its musicality, synchopation and vituosity. Highly recommended!