Friday, 20 December 2013

The holly and the ivy (and the camellia and the rhododendron)!

The camellia and the rhododendron may not be the most traditional of Christmas plants, but they are bringing delightful array of colour to Borde Hill this winter!

The Christmas Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ is a mouthful to pronounce but a joy to behold! It may be long way from its original home in Southern Japan, but it is very content in its adopted home in Southern England!


This glorious rhododendron is keeping up a festive appearance with its glossy textured leaves and Christmassy crimson flowers.

Christmas may be just around the corner but our gardening team are still as busy as any other time of year. There is plenty of work to be done to get us ready for our spring opening in March 2014.

One of the more gruesome winter jobs will be the clearing of the Italian Garden pond! What was once the family tennis court is now this tranquil garden, but is in need of some TLC. The lilies will be carefully lifted out, the water drained and then a deep-clean before restoring it to the beautiful tranquil pool we all know and love.

Our Head Gardener, Andy Stevens has five festive tips for the colder months:
1. Finish clearing leaves from borders and grass areas. Apply mulches if ground is not frozen or waterlogged.
2. Check greenhouse heaters are working and lag any outdoor water pipes. Make sure garden hoses are fully drained.
3. Ensure tubs are slightly raised off the ground to help drainage. Tubs at risk of frost damage can also be moved up against a house wall to offer some protection or wrapped in hessian or bubble wrap.
4. Continue planting deciduous trees and shrubs, and lifting and dividing perennials, but only if ground is not frozen or waterlogged.
5. Send your mower off to be serviced. Don’t wait until the spring when everyone else wants theirs done too! Drain fuel from stored machinery as unleaded fuel doesn’t keep.
A misty view across the valley to the Victorian viaduct.

The whole BordeHill Garden team wish you a peaceful and relaxing Christmas and a prosperous and happy New Year!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Summer Fun, Musical Sundays & Garden delights at Borde Hill Garden

The first of our Musical Sundays on 4thAugust was a big success. We were lucky to have a gloriously sunny day with a cool breeze, filling the air with music. The two cellists from Ensemble Reza played under the trees on with the South Lawn as the stage, and the Elizabethan Mansion House as a dramatic backdrop.
It was lovely to see so many people relaxing, enjoying picnics and drinks together. We even had a group of ladies on a hen-party celebrating with glasses of champagne, whilst the musicians serenaded them with special songs to make for an even more memorable day.


Eloise Irving (pictured) performed on 11th August on the Azalea Ring. The elegant sound of the harp was so fitting for the surrounding. Eloise is a lady with many talents and also sang, giving a lovely variety to the afternoon.

Join us for our remaining two Musical Sundays

Sussex Symphony Orchestra musicians on 18th August

Jazz band on 25th August
The children’s activities have been popular; we have been delighted to welcome so many families joining in and getting crafty in our marquee on our activity days. We have Summer Fun Days every Tuesday and Thursday.  
Robbie the Magician was plenty of fun, with his assistant bunny helping him to perform some magic tricks! We look forward to welcoming him again on Tuesday 13th August.

Please see our website for more details

 Garden updates
The gardening team have been busy watering, pruning, dead-heading roses, weeding and strimming back long grass. They have also planted some new filler plants; cleome, nicotiana and blue salvia.

If you are looking for a tree that flowers during summer and still looks stunning in the autumn, you could consider Koelrederia paniculata (pictured).

This striking tree has vibrant yellow flowers during the summer ad bright red berries during the autumn. This species of flowering plant is in the family Sapindaceae, came from China. The common names include Goldenrain Tree, Pride of India, China tree, or Varnish Tree. Our specimen is on the north side of the Rose Garden.

One of the things we love to see is different generations exploring and enjoying the Garden together. Pictured is one of our younger visitors and his dad playing with the flowing water in the Italian Garden.
Join us this summer for some memorable days with your friends and loved ones.

Monday, 22 July 2013

It is all coming up roses at Borde Hill!

22nd July 2013
Rose Garden
The hot weather has bought out an explosion of roses, with scents that will take your breath away!

All of the David Austin varieties are looking stunning; in particular, the R. ‘Summer Song’, R. ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ and R. ‘Graham Thomas’. There is a kaleidoscope of colour throughout the rose gardens, from oranges to reds to pinks to whites.
The Gardening Team have been working hard despite the heat, with dead-heading, weeding, feeding, watering. Pictured are the team clearing back the nepeta (catmint) borders; these will re-grow again in August.

Where a greenhouse once stood there is now a beautiful array of Gold Standard roses together with yews, artemisia, creating an enormous ‘walk-in’ plant pot!
Paradise Walk
The Paradise Walk was given a make-over this spring. The new planting designed by James Alexander Sinclair has established well and the results of all the hard work are really paying off.

Watering information and tips
We are using pumps to draw water from the lakes in the Parkland up to the Garden to water the plants that need it most during this hot spell. The spring-fed lakes were created in the early 1990’s especially to supply extra water and reduce the Garden’s large usage of tap water.
Our Head Gardener, Andy Stevens’ “top tip” for watering during this weather is to water prolifically but infrequently. The key is to really saturate the soil one evening and then leave for a few nights before watering again. 
Our Mid-Summer Border has been enjoying our hot spell, the best bit is it doesn't need watering!
Commemorative Styrax

Pictured is Andy watering the commemorative Styrax planted this year to celebrate the 150 years since the birth of Col. Stephenson R Clarke; founder of the Garden.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

18th June 2013

Preparing for summer roses at Borde Hill

The Borde Hill gardening team work tirelessly throughout the year, in all of the changeable weather our delightful British weather chooses to throw at us!

We have a stunning array of roses and we celebrate these with our Roses In Bloom Celebration from the end of June and throughout July.
In preparation for this, June was spent sprucing up the Rose Garden. Whilst the weather has delayed the blooming of the roses, it certainly hasn’t stopped the grass and weeds from growing!

So we wait with eager anticipation for the somewhat delayed blooming of the roses (as a result of the cold spring). But they are well budded, so all being well, there should be a good display by the end of this month. 

As well as new rose planting, we have also lined the edge of the circular lawn with Alchemilla erythropoda, more compact and less invasive than the more usually seen Alchemilla mollis.

Our Head Gardener, Andy Stevens has prepared information on roses which is available from our Admission Desk. Remember to pick one up when you next visit.

See also our press release and our website.