Borde Hill celebrate their 125th Anniversary with an events programme underlining the horticultural importance of this plant hunters’ garden

Borde Hill celebrate their 125th Anniversary with an events programme underlining the horticultural importance of this plant hunters’ garden

Borde Hill, near Haywards Heath in West Sussex, was purchased in 1893 by Colonel Stephenson Robert Clarke with the express intention of creating a magnificent garden from seed gathered by the great plant hunters of the early 1900s.

The Colonel was a horticultural pioneer and sponsored plant hunting trips to Japan, China, Burma, Tasmania and the Andes and kept correspondence from his favourite plant hunters including George Forrest, Ernest Wilson Frank Kingdon-Ward and Reginald Farrer.

Borde Hill Garden’s programme of events for 2018 will focus on garden, music and the arts. There is something for everyone with special weeks designed to re-connect children with nature, photographic days, music festivals, open air opera and motorbike and car shows.
Dedicated magnolia and camellia tours with the head gardener Andy Stevens, as well as a special day with RHS vice president Jim Gardiner, are planned for the spring to celebrate the abundance of magnolias at Borde Hill.
In the summer, Borde Hill’s Rose Weeks will deliver stunning colour and scent as the rose garden, filled with the very best David Austin roses, will wow visitors keen to learn more about roses.
Borde Hill Garden will unveil the Round Dell in 2018; a brand new design by Sophie Walker as part of the Garden’s 125th Anniversary. The Round Dell has transformed an area which was formerly a quarry containing sub-tropical plants.
The history and legacy of Borde Hill’s diverse collection of plants is at the heart of Sophie Walker’s new design, and exciting new specimens found in the 21st Century will be added to an already significant treasury, which includes one of the largest collections of champion trees in private gardens.

The picturesque garden, with borders designed by horticultural heavy weights such as James Alexander Sinclair, Robin Williams and Tony Lard, provide a perfect backdrop for the photography days planned in 2018, and the Elizabethan House will deliver a dramatic setting for the open air opera programme by Opera Brava which includes La Boheme and The Marriage of Figaro.

Horticultural historian Caroline Holmes will deliver a fascinating talk ‘The Edwardian Garden, Golden and Delicious’. Lucinda Weis, a specialist in relaxation, will lead people through a self awareness and confidence one day course entitled ‘My Garden is my Sanctuary’ in May.

A full list of events is detailed below. For further information please contact: [email protected]

19 March Friends of Borde Hill Open Day
20 March Borde Hill opens to the public
31 March Photographic Competition. Winning 12 images chosen for the Borde Hill calendar 2019. See website for details
22 March Magnolias: Every Garden Should Have One. Join Jim Gardiner, RHS Vice President, for an informative talk on magnolias before you stroll round the Garden admiring Borde Hill’s renowned collection. *BE
25 March Camellia Heritage Tour. Guided tour of our camellia collection at 11am and 3pm. *AC
27 March Magnolia Tour with the Head Gardener. Our Head Gardener, Andy Stevens, will lead a tour around the Garden at 11am and 3pm. *AC
30 March – 15 April Bertram Bunny’s Easter Adventure. Bertram Bunny
is causing mayhem in the Garden and we need your help to find him and restore tranquillity. *AC

4 & 14 April Storytelling for Families. Come along as a family and share creative time inspired by stories from around the world. Sessions at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm.
29 April & 15 July & 14 October
Going Digital. Photo workshops for adults to help you explore your camera. Booking: *BE

16 May ‘The Edwardian Garden, Golden and Delicious’ Caroline Holmes will evoke memories of a golden afternoon, glimpsed in black and white photographs and nostalgic cottage paintings with architecture inspired by the Mediterranean. *BE

23 May ‘My Garden is my Sanctuary’ Join this one day course to improve self-awareness and confidence skills in this relaxing and peaceful setting. *BE
26 – 28 May & 11 & 12 August Borde Hill Horse Trials. We are delighted to welcome competitors, their supporters and spectators to this British Eventing Horse Trials.

3 June Focus 10k Run for Chailey Heritage Foundation: Join us for a 10k or 5k run in the scenic parkland to support this local charity.
18 – 29 June Rose Celebration Weeks. Join us to celebrate the beauty of our Rose Garden at its peak. Short tours on 20th and 27th June at 12noon. Rose gifts and plants for sale in the shop.
18 – 22 & 25 – 29 June Guided Tours of the Elizabethan Mansion, home to the Stephenson Clarke family for over a century. Tours at 11am and 2pm. *AC

1 July Operatic High Tea. An elegant afternoon of operatic highlights performed by Opera Brava with a delicious High Tea. *BE
7 & 8 July Open Air Concerts in the Park. Enjoy the music of internationally acclaimed artists in the wonderful parkland setting.

22 July Southern Classics Society Car Show. Admire a diverse array of classic cars parked on the South Lawn.

27 July Open Air Opera: La Boheme. Britain’s leading outdoor touring company present La Boheme on the South Lawn with the Elizabethan House as a backdrop. *BE
28 July Open Air Opera: The Marriage of Figaro. One wedding and a whole lot of great singing! With a professional cast of top-class performers, lavish costumes and period sets. *BE
1 Aug – 30 Sept The Artists Garden. Displays of the artistic response to the beauty of the countryside and nature in the form of sculpture, painting and photography.
1-31 August The Garden of Imagination. Be inspired to imagine fantasy creatures and other worldly beings in the Garden, lakes and woodland. *AC
5 August Porsche Club Great Britain. The Porsche Club, R23 Sussex Region, will showcase their members cars on the South Lawn.
5, 12, 19 & 26 Aug Musical Picnics. Every Sunday in August between 1 and 3pm you can enjoy relaxing live music on the Azalea Ring.
17-19 August Music Festival. Magical: The festival that makes you feel amazing! Inspiring you to be your best, most positive and confident self…and party like there’s no tomorrow! Let’s get Magical! Tickets: *BE
2 September Harley Davidson Bikes & Brews. Harley Davidson bikes, with music and locally produced ales.

16 September Specialist Plant Fair. A wide range of locally grown, garden worthy and unusual plants that will inspire keen gardeners.

1 October National Gardens Scheme (NGS) Open Day.

20 – 31 October Halloween Hocus Pocus. Dare you wander the Garden to find all the clues on our spooky trail. *AC
28 October Pumpkin Glow. Carve your own pumpkin design, or bring along one you have made at home, to add to our lit pumpkin line. *AC
30 November – 16 December Christmas Shop. The Borde Hill shop will be open and bursting with seasonal delights.

*BE – Booking essential. *AC Additional charges apply
The information is correct at the time of going to print and is subject to change at any time.

For further information please contact [email protected]