The Importance of Water in Gardens – NGS Open Gardens List

Photo: The Old Vicarage Washington: James Walters

The National Garden Scheme and the Importance of Water in our Gardens

Water is the life blood that supports all life on earth and is vital to any garden. The National Garden Scheme is partnered with WWT to promote a wider understanding of the importance of wetlands and water in nature and in our gardens – we share information on how to create mini-wetlands in our gardens and how to conserve water in the increasingly hot summers. With over 1,700 National Garden Scheme gardens mentioning water in their descriptions the importance of this life-giving element is clear.

From natural swimming ponds and stately rills to barrel ponds and water gardens in Belfast sinks, the variety of water in our gardens is inspiring. While water features provide fabulous depths to garden design, it also supports a wide variety of water loving plants and attracts wildlife too.

  • According to research there’s a greater acreage of gardens than nature reserves in England, that’s why in a changing climate our gardens are SO important.
  • There are 23 million gardens in the UK, and each one, whatever their size, can play a part in reversing biodiversity loss.
  • The parts of your garden which feature water support more life per area than any other habitat.
  • Whether you have a balcony, a window box, an urban patch or an acre or more, start thinking of it as an eco-system in its own right and a steppingstone in connecting habitats to create wildlife corridors.

Be inspired!
With so many of our National Garden Scheme gardens showcasing water in its myriad forms here are just a few of West Sussex gardens, opening in June, to inspire you:

Peelers Retreat Arundel
https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/23227/peelers-retreat
This inspirational space is a delight, with plenty of areas to sit and relax, enjoying delicious teas. Interlocking beds packed with year-round colour and scent, shaded by specimen trees, inventive water feature and rill, raised fish pond and a working Victorian fireplace.
Peelers Retreat 70 Ford Road Arundel BN18 9EX is open for the National Garden Scheme on Sat 8, Tue 18, Sat 22 June, Tue 2, Sat 6 July, Tue 20, Sat 24 Aug, Tue 3, Sat 7, Sat 21 Sept, Sat 5 Oct (2pm-5pm). Admission £5, children free. Book online on the NGS website or pay on the day. Home-made teas.
Visits also by arrangement from April to October for groups of up to 24. see NGS website for details.

Fittleworth House, Pulborough
https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/14546/fittleworth-house
A 3-acre tranquil, romantic, country garden with walled kitchen garden growing a wide range of fruit, vegetables and flowers including a large collection of dahlias. Large glasshouse and old potting shed, mixed flower borders, roses, rhododendrons, lawns and a feature pond. A magnificent 115ft tall cedar overlooks the wisteria covered Grade II listed Georgian house (not open). Wild garden, long grass areas and stream.
Fittleworth House Bedham Lane Fittleworth Pulborough, West Sussex RH20 1JH is open for the National Garden Scheme on Wed 12th, 19th June, Wed 10th, 17th, 24th July, Wed 7th August (2pm-5pm). Admission £5, children free. Book online on the NGS website or pay on the day. Light refreshments.
Visits also by arrangement 22 Apr to 23 Aug for groups of 8 to 40. Weekdays only see NGS website for details.

Foxwood Barn Fontwell
https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/43318/foxwood-barn
The garden at Foxwood Barn was developed from a green field site five years ago. This almost two acre garden has been developed into different areas and features a wildlife pond, a rose and gravel garden, patio areas and a dry riverbed. There are herbaceous borders, wildflower areas and a small orchard and kitchen garden. There is a separate picnic area adjacent to a paddock with donkeys and ponies.
The garden at Foxwood Barn Foxwood Barn Fontwell Arundel BN18 0SR is open for the National Garden Scheme on Sat 1st and Sun 2nd June (2pm-5pm). Admission £6, children free. Book online on the NGS website or pay on the day. Home-made teas.
Visits also by arrangement June to Aug for groups of 10 to 30. Afternoon or evening visits. see NGS website for details.

Bumble Farm Loxwood
https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/45488/bumble-farm
Delightful large country garden. Passionately and imaginatively created by enthusiastic owner over the past 20 yrs. An interesting garden with a series of circular lawns surrounded by borders, full of mass drift, repeat planting of harmonious perennials, roses, shrubs, and more. A newly developed white garden, wisteria pergola, kitchen and cutting garden, fountains and various seating areas.
Bumble Farm Drungewick Lane Loxwood Billingshurst RH14 0RS Is open for the National Garden Scheme on Sat 1st June, Sat 15th June and Sunday 16th June (12pm – 5pm). Admission £6, children free. Book online on the NGS website or pay on the day. Home-made teas.

The Old Vicarage, Washington
https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/21793/the-old-vicarage
Gardens of 3½ acres set around 1832 Regency house (not open). The front is formally laid out with topiary, wide lawn, mixed border and contemporary water sculpture. The rear features new and mature trees from C19, herbaceous borders, water garden and stunning uninterrupted views of the North Downs. The Japanese garden with waterfall and pond leads to a large copse, stream, treehouse and stumpery.
The Old Vicarage The Street Washington, West Sussex RH20 4AS is open for the National Garden Scheme every Thursday to 10th October 2024 (10am-5pm) Admission £7, children free. Book online on the NGS website. Also open Sun 30th June, and Mon 26th August and by arrangement, see NGS website for details. Self-service light refreshments.

Bignor Park Pulborough
https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/1900/bignor-park
11 acres of peaceful garden to explore with magnificent views of the South Downs. Interesting trees, shrubs, wildflower areas with swathes of daffodils in spring. The walled flower garden has been replanted with herbaceous borders. Temple, Greek loggia, Zen pond and unusual sculptures.
Bignor Park Pulborough RH20 1HG is open for the National Garden Scheme on Tuesday 4th June and Tue 3rd September (2pm-5pm). Admission £5, children free. Book online on the NGS website or pay on the day. Home-made teas.

Rymans Apuldram
https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/4769/rymans
Walled and other gardens surrounding C15 stone house (not open); bulbs, flowering shrubs, roses, ponds, and potager. Many unusual and rare trees and shrubs. In late spring the wisterias are spectacular. Hybrid musk roses fill the walled garden in June and in late summer the garden is filled with dahlias, sedums, late roses, sages and Japanese anemones.
Rymans Appledram Lane South Apuldram Chichester PO20 7EG is open for the National Garden Scheme on Sun 23 June and Sun 15 Sept (2-5). Admission £6, children free. Home-made teas at St Mary’s Church, Apuldram. Refreshments in aid of St Mary’s Church, Apuldram. Visits also by arrangement 1 Apr to 3 Oct for groups of 10 to 30 see NGS website for details.

St Mary’s House Garden Bramber
https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/11007/st-marys-house-gardens
5 acres including formal topiary, large prehistoric Ginkgo biloba and magnificent Magnolia grandiflora around enchanting timber-framed medieval house (not open for NGS). Victorian Secret Gardens with a splendid 140ft fruit wall with pineapple pits, Rural Museum, Terracotta Garden, Jubilee Rose Garden, King’s Garden and circular Poetry Garden. Woodland walk and Landscape Water Garden. In the heart of the South Downs National Park. WC facilities. Wheelchair access with level paths throughout.
St Mary’s House Gardens Bramber BN44 3WE Is open for the National Garden Scheme on Fri 28 and Sat 29 June (2pm-5.30pm). Admission £8.50, children £5. Book online on the NGS website or pay on the day. Home- made teas.

St Barnabus House
https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/36325/st-barnabas-house
Join one of the accompanied tours through the patient gardens, these will be held throughout the day. After which, take a relaxing wander through the hospice grounds, which have a central courtyard garden like an exotic atrium with seating, water features and abundant foliage from tree ferns, magnolias and katsura trees. Outside a large pond with fountain-aerator adds tranquillity with the sound of running water. Lavender maze, meadow and productive vegetable plot. Bees hives, kindly donated by the Worthing Division of the West Sussex Beekeepers Associations (BKA). Good disability access to the site, central courtyard, main surrounding gardens and car park.
The garden at St Barnabus House 2 Titnore Lane, Goring-By-Sea, Worthing West Sussex BN12 6NZ is open for the National Garden Scheme on Sat 29th June (11am-4pm). Admission £5, children free. Book online on the NGS website. Teas. Refreshments & plants in aid of St Barnabas House hospice.

The Hidden Garden, Selsey
https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/44771/the-hidden-garden
The Hidden Garden is a community gardening project encouraging local people to become involved with growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers as well as providing spaces for wildlife to thrive. The garden is open to people of all ages and abilities, organised by the Selsey Community Forum but looked after by a dedicated group of local volunteers. Partial wheelchair access over grass paths. Park behind Selsey Library or in front of the Academy School on School Ln. You will see The Bridge Support Centre, enter through the gate & The Hidden Garden is behind the centre.
The Hidden Garden School Lane (behind Selsey Library) Selsey Chichester PO20 9EH is open for the National Garden Scheme on Sun 30 June (10am-4pm). Admission £5, children free. Book online on the NGS website or pay on the day. Home-made teas. Partial wheelchair access over grass paths. Park behind Selsey Library or in front of the Academy School on School Lane. You will see The Bridge Support Centre, enter through the gate & The Hidden Garden is behind the centre.

Parsonage Farm Kirdford
https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/18581/parsonage-farm
Major garden in beautiful setting developed over 30 years with fruit theme and many unusual plants. Formally laid out on grand scale with long vistas. C18 walled garden with borders in apricot, orange, scarlet and crimson. Topiary walk, pleached lime allée, tulip tree avenue, rose borders and vegetable garden with trained fruit. Turf amphitheatre, autumn shrubbery, yew cloisters and jungle walk.
Parsonage Farm Kirdford, near Billingshurst RH14 0NH is open for the National Garden Scheme on Fri 21 June and Sun 8 Sept (2pm-6pm). Admission £8, children free. Pay on the day. Home-made teas (cash only). Refreshments in aid of The Jane Lemon Foundation.

Lodsbridge Mill Selham
https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/45737/lodsbridge-mill
A 20-acre estate in the South Downs National Park with a house (not open) that was a former C18 watermill on the banks of the River Rother, enhanced by mature willows and a timber-decked suspension footbridge. A broad grassy glade is bordered by shrubs and trees, there is also a cottage garden, a disused canal and a belt of mixed mature woodland to explore. A beautiful landscape for gentle walking and taking in the stunning views.
Lodsbridge Mill Selham, Petworth GU28 0PL is open for the National Garden Scheme on 6th July (10am-6pm). Admission £8, children free. Book online on the NGS website. Home-made teas.

To learn more about the National Garden Scheme, discover your perfect garden or find out how to open your own garden, visit https://ngs.org.uk, download the National Garden Scheme app or purchase the National Garden Scheme’s Garden Visitor’s Handbook, which is published annually and available via ngs.org.uk/shop and at all good book retailers.

For all West Sussex NGS gardens opening in June you can also use the following link

https://ngs.org.uk/west-sussex-june-gardens/

 


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