Gardens Events

The Art and Craft of Garden Design

Great Dixter, Northiam, Rye

Tuesdays March 20, April 17, May 15, June 19, July 17, August 1, September 18, october 16 and November 20, 10am-5pm

£1,200 for nine course dates

The garden at Great Dixter provides the perfect setting for students to learn about the art and craft of garden design. This innovative nine-month course, led by award-winning garden designer and lecturer Annie Guilfoyle, allows participants to observe and study the garden throughout the changing seasons. It will incorporate the fundamentals of garden design and is delivered through seminars, demonstrations and critical appraisal of the garden. There will be practical design sessions, some garden-based.

Phone 01797 254048 or visit

Tulip Festival

Arundel Castle, Arundel


More than 60,000 tulips will be blooming in Arundel Castle’s gardens with a wide range of varieties of tulips in flower, creating an explosion of colour in its walled gardens. Among the 120 named tulips on display are Olympic Flame, Lilac Time, Swan Wings, Fancy Frills, Apeldoorn’s Elite, Black Parrot and Negrita, plus the peony flowered Angelique. Planted in an array of unique horticultural designs, there are innovative displays around the Collector Earl’s Garden, where 4,000 Pink Impression and Purple Prince tulips will be on show. Nearby, in the Wild Flower Garden, by the Stumpery, there will soon be a display of over 8,000 mixed tulips. Pictures: Julia Claxton.

Phone 01903 882173 or visit

Garden Tour

Alfriston Clergy House, The Tye, Alfriston

Tuesdays April 17, May 15 and July 17, 11.30am-12.30pm

Free. Normal admission charges apply

The Clergy House’s head gardener leads a tour around the idyllic garden, which was laid out in the 1920s by Sir Robert Witt, who segmented it into small individual ‘rooms’ and for terracing down to the river. There’s a box tree garden, a medieval-style square garden bounded by yew hedges and divided by paths with a sundial at its centre, an orchard, rose beds and a herb garden and vegetable garden.

Phone 01323 871961 or visit

Tulip Festival

Pashley Manor, Ticehurst, near Wadhurst

Tuesday-Tuesday April 24-May 8, 10am-5pm

Entrance £11

The garden at Pashley Manor is carpeted with more than 40,000 tulips in 112 varieties, planted in colour-themed ‘rooms’. From elegant displays of white lily flowered and cream classic tulips planted around an old terrace to the sweeping herbaceous borders covered in a  riot of reds and oranges between red brick walls and pleached pear trees. There will also be a display of cut flower tulips in the Bloms Bulbs marquee. The Bluebell Walk in woodland may also be in flower at the same time. Picture: Kate Wilson.

Phone 01580 200888 or visit

Tom Hart Dyke: Plant Hunter

Sussex Country Gardener, Mark Cross, Crowborough

Thursday April 26

Tickets £8. Booking essential

Tom Hart Dyke was on a plant-hunting expedition in the Columbian jungle in 200 when he was kidnapped along with his travelling companion. It happened as they were trekking though The Darien Gap, a dangerous place abandoned by all to two warring guerrilla factions. Tom was held for nine months before he was released in December 2000. He talks about his experience.

Phone 01892 852828 or visit

Pruning Plum Trees

The Beeches, Church Road, Barcombe

Thursday April 26, 10am-4pm


Laurie McMillan, a Sussex-based professional gardener who was horticultural lecturer at Plumpton College, runs this course that teaches how to prune plum trees, which include greengage, damson and cherry, which can sometimes get overlooked. There will also be tips on the best way to care for them and different cultivars for your garden.

Phone 07771 655862, or visit

Plant Fair

Arundel Castle & Gardens, Arundel

Sunday April 29

Admission price applies

Within the grounds of Arundel Castle, more than 20 specialist nurseries will be exhibiting and selling a wide range of locally grown, good quality, interesting and often unusual plants, bulbs and shrubs.

Phone 01903 882173 or visit

Spring Plant Fair

Arundel Castle, Arundel

Sunday April 29

Tickets from £8

Arundel Castle is holding its first ever plant fair, when more than 20 specialist nurseries will have plants, bulbs and shrubs to view and purchase. There will be an emphasis on locally grown, unusual and high quality specimens. Rachael, from Swallowfields Nursery, which is not open to the public except at events such as this when it will feature an array of Primula auricula displayed in traditional auricula theatres, says, “Arundel Castle is a stunning location with a long, rich history of plant collecting. It will be wonderful to bring our plants to such a beautiful setting and become a part of that continuum of gardening history.”  Fiona, from succulent specialist Blueleaf Plants says the fair at Arundel Castle will be an opportunity to access “a choice range of the more unusual plant varieties, many of which you won’t find in a garden centre.” She adds, “I want people to enjoy growing succulents and to know that it’s not an exclusive hobby.” Blueleaf Plants will offer versatile succulents, such as the Euphorbia trigona ‘Rubra’, Euphorbia tirucali, and Euphorbia obesa. Other highlights will include the Hardy’s Cottage Plants stall, which will have the Geum Scarlet Tempest (Runner up at The Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2016) and Geum Totally Tangerine. Picture: Chris Hopkins.

Phone 01903 882 173 or visit

Succession Planting in the Mixed Border

Great Dixter, Northiam, Rye

Monday April 30, 10am-4.30pm


During an intensive day, Great Dixter’s head gardener Fergus Garrett uses the Long Border as an example of how to plan and put into practice a long season border using structural plants, underplanting and interplanting of bulbs, use of self-sowers, pockets of bedding, masking with climbers, and good maintenance. There will be slides and talks in the Great Hall, and discussion sessions on the border.

Phone 01797 252878 or visit

Allium Extravaganza

Arundel Castle, Arundel

May and June

In May and June, eruptions of pom-pom headed alliums burst into bloom at Arundel Castle. Nicknamed the ‘fireworks of gardening’, more than 14 varieties of allium will be on show in the Walled gardens. Head gardener Martin Duncan explains, “This allium display brings a fresh new burst of colour and intrigue to the Collector Earl’s Gardens. We have deliberately selected tall ornamental alliums to create the illusion of them bursting like fireworks above neighbouring flowers. With names like ‘Mount Everest’, it’s easy to understand the visual impact that these flowers will deliver and why they are such a talking point in the gardens”.

Phone 01903 882173 or visit

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