The gardens at Bignor Park are looked after by Louise Elliott, Kirsten Walker, Peter Sherratt, Andrea Lock and Mark Walker. With over twenty five years of horticultural and garden design experience, Louise has also contributed to the creation of a Chelsea Silver Gilt award-winning courtyard garden with Fittleworth Horticultural society and a Chelsea Gold award-winning stand in the great pavilion with Fleur de Lys, conservatory plant specialists. An ambitious programme of new planting and redesign is underway, and the garden walls have been painstakingly restored by specialist builders R.J. Winnicott Ltd of Rowland's Castle. The garden and parkland heritage iron fencing has been renewed by Sussex Countryside Management Ltd.
Brief Garden Description
There are eleven acres of gardens to explore, with magnificent views of the South Downs. A peaceful garden with no traffic noise. You can find shelter if it rains and many seats for contemplation.
As you enter the garden you pass under a rare two hundred year old Lucombe oak. Ahead are a group of hungry seagulls by Geoffrey Stinton, and to the left is the croquet lawn. Beyond is a temple on a mound. In the spring this area is a sea of daffodils, primroses, cowslips and orchids, framed by colourful rhododendrons and camellias. Here and beyond are many trees, including two cedars of Lebanon, a shagbark hickory, sorbus and balsam poplars.
Gaze for a moment at the reflections in our Zen pond, and make your way back along the woodland path which brings you to the south lawn. Two magnificent old oak trees stand below the house protecting our two black sheep made by Willow Legge. The plane tree ahead is ringed in early spring by snowdrops, crocuses and bluebells. Beyond is a view of Bignor Hill, woods and farmland. The Bignor Roman Villa is just over the crest of the hill, twenty minutes walk away.
To the west of the house is the formal garden with its Greek loggia. The Dutch Garden, with its old box hedges, is predominantly blue and mauve, with lavender, rosemary and buddleia, a haven for butterflies. Three Indian running ducks guard a small goldfish pond. The old greenhouse has become a tunnel of laburnum, planted by Kitty Mersey in 1973.
Beyond the orchard is the kitchen garden, being looked after by Wade and Beth Houlden. Don't miss the walled garden with box hedges. The small round pond in the middle is a favourite breeding ground for dragonflies. The Aeolian harp in the centre is by Geoffrey Stinton. A row of pleached limes stretch westward to the wilder azalea garden, and the little black gate will lead you back onto the drive.
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