Borde Hill

Borde Hill is a rather wonderful large house in Sussex – open to the public and near Haywards Heath should ever find yourself in that area. It is the home to a truly remarkable collection of shrubs and trees – in particular the magnolias (I did a film for Gardeners’ World about them a few years ago) of which there are, I think, twenty five species at Borde Hill.

As well as Magnolias (and a collection of stuffed animals that were despatched by a Victorian forbear) there is the Paradise Walk. This is a pretty pathway that runs parallel to the park and adjacent to the Italian Garden. I was asked to replant this in 2011 when it was not looking at all Paradisical.

I planned for it to look its best in mid to late summer: by which time all the spring flowering trees and shrubs are over, the roses are tailing off (there is a handsome rose garden designed by Robin Williams) and the insatiable public are in search of colour and diversion. It is mostly an orange and blue scheme (with dashes of claret and white) – two colours that complement each other well with two varieties of Kniphofia (Tawny King and rooperi) repeating themselves along the border.

Details about Borde Hill (which has lots of other fine gardens) are here.