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Modern planting sitting comfortably in this heritage landscape

Owners Belinda and David Wilkinson have created a stunning modern garden in this rural Sussex landscape overlooking the South Downs. Belinda's gardening design skills and imagination have transformed what was a 17th century farmhouse and derelict outbuildings into a beautiful home and garden that seems to have always been there.

In Belinda's introduction to the group, she explained that while some areas of the garden were easy to design the need to marry it with the wider landscape initially alluded her. After a few attempts that didn't meet with her 'vision' of the garden she sought help from garden designers, Ian Smith and Debbie Rogers of Acres Wild. What you see now is several acres of garden that sit comfortably within the landscape and provide plenty of seating areas to enjoy the view. The owners wanted to keep planting minimalist and have repeated blocks of plants that really suit the soil and climate of the area. Structural hedges of beech, yew and box coupled with grasses provide year around interest. These are interspersed with herbaceous plants that have a long flowering period or again, provide structural interest.

We had a fantastic visit exploring the many garden rooms and admiring recent additions of a pergola, vines and extended vegetable & cut flower beds. The highlight for me was certainly the courtyard which was dominated by colourful hydrangeas, Rosa Iceberg and Euonymous fortunei Emerald Gaiety. Simple but effective planting that keeps on giving during the seasons.

Homemade cake and tea gave members an opportunity to catch up with each other and enjoy the views.

While the current drought has effected the lawns, the rest of the garden was still beautiful and demonstrated that certain plants can definitely withstand these conditions. Time to focus on these in the borders. Huge thanks to Belinda and David for entertaining us so well.

Belinda opens her garden by arrangement through the National Garden Scheme. Visit for further details.

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