Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Parham House - another glorious Sussex garden


Parham House in West Sussex is a garden worth visiting throughout the spring and summer months to see how it's progressing because it's like watching a wonderful flower tapestry being woven! The house was built in the 16th century and the original garden area dates back to the 1770s, but what is so remarkable about this property is that the 'tapestry' is walled, and it's like entering a "secret" garden, behind a magnificent gabled house.
This year sees a new head gardener - Tom Brown - taking over the running of the garden - he comes from RHS Wisley where he specialised in herbaceous borders, so an auspicious appointment for Parham, where the borders are part of the garden's glory. Part of the joy of this garden at this time of year is the absolute profusion of spring bulbs - and you'll see tulip displays to rival Pashley Manor but later in the season, it's the borders that will stun you.

Parham House is medieval and you access the gardens through the splendid Fountain Court (right) presided over by the clocktower. Access to the gardens is along a gravel path and through a wrought-iron gate guarded by stone lions, and suddenly there are four acres of walled gardens ahead.The planting is immaculate and designed to lift your heart at any time during the season. There is a lake and huge meadows of wild flowers... and all this in addition to the hundreds of acres of parkland surrounding the property, complete with church.

Parham nestles in the shadow of the glorious South Downs and there are plenty of wonderful country pubs in the vicinity if you want to stop for lunch.

I visited early in the season, but will be returning once the borders are in full bloom because I know it's a spectacular sight. Parham is a member of the Historic Houses Assocation, so if you're a paid-up member, entry to the garden is free.

There is also a glorious greenhouse (below), filled to overflowing with plants, and for those of you who have your own gardens, the nursery is excellent. I bought many plants for my own garden at the end of my visit and am hoping to produce borders like those I saw at Parham!

8 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful. I MUST GET TO ENGLAND!!!! As lovely as some of the gardens here in Canada can be, we can't rival the horticultural heritage that you're showing us.

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  2. Another perfect garden to visit. I've added it to my long list. Would love to see those borders in full bloom.

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  3. Charlotte,
    Deliriously lovely!
    xo
    Alice
    aka Alice's Garden Travel Buzz

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  4. I love English gardens and it is wonderful to discover this blog. I plan to get there one day!

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  5. Hi Charlotte I recently posted about Parham house following a trip there with my daughter. Tom the Head Gardener is a friend of hers and we had a chat with him in the lovely glass house. Here are some more photos.
    http://joanne-orangecottages.blogspot.com/2010/04/parham-house-garden.html

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  6. So very beautiful, and I really like the 'secret garden' aspect. :)

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  7. Another beautiful english garden. Elegance is so obvious.

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  8. Would I link to Parham? I'd like to live there!

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