On this page you can find recommendations from Friday group members about gardens to visit, gardening books, nurseries and lots more…

January 2017

From Lindsay.  These are photos taken 15,000 metres above sea level at the top of Mount Hobart in Tasmania.  Lucky Lindsay!

October 2016

From Mary..’Here are some photos taken at Blickling Hall in Norfolk yesterday. The newly replanted walled kitchen gardens were fab especially the dahlias on the south facing wall beds. Also the carpet of tiny cyclamen were exquisite! So much there to see’.

May 2016

From Julia W ..’I recommend the lilac collection in Withdean Park, just off main A23 into town, before they are over. I think it’s been a good year for lilacs & their beautiful scent, though these are a bit neglected these days. Also the laburnum walk in the Walled Garden in Preston Park (near Preston Manor) .’

lab walk 1

lab walk 2

April 2016

  • Ruth recommended a restored Arabic garden in North Majorca – Jardines de Alfabia
  • Katy  recommended a garden blogger – Stephanie Cooper who writes about cottage gardening
  • Julia K and others recommended Garden Sage Nursery, London Rd, Hassocks ( used to be Allwoods). It is a new nursery worth supporting – good price and quality
  • Bridge recommended Swains Farm shop and Garden Centre, Henfield 9 near cricket ground) for compost, pelleted chicken manure, grass seed, fertiliser, logs, coal etc – free delivery with large orders

February 2016

From Julia K – West Dean gardens


From Karin – a few pics from Trebah in Cornwall

January 2016

From Erin:

Erin has been working in the Old Vicarage Garden in Firle which is sometimes open to the public through the NGS. The designer was Lanning Roper.

 erin 2

Recommended book:

 The Natural History of English Gardens  1650-1800 by Mark Laird, a lushly-illustrated book.

Recommended gardens:

 December 2015

Recommended books :

Bridge recommended 2 Roy Lancaster books

‘Trees in your Garden’ and ‘Garden plants for Connoisseurs’

We also looked at a book of poems about the seasons

‘The Seasons- The Nation’s Most treasured Nature poems’

Places to visit:

November 2015

Julia W recommended Herstmonceaux castle gardens

‘Some pictures from Herstmonceux Castle Gardens in East Sussex. Somehow I failed to take any good ones of the more cultivated gardens there, which are very well maintained. I’ve also included a pic of my ‘nature table’ finds of the day. The house pictured is in reality a one-room folly with a lovely secret cottage garden behind it.  The gardens close for the winter. Check website for opening dates. Usually very peaceful unlike many NT gardens! (The first picture is of the garden last summer)’

Julia 1

Julia 2 Julia 4

JUlia 3  Julia 5

Hilary recommended Hever Castle near Edenbridge in Kent

Ann recommended RHS Hyde Hall near Chelmsford in Essex

Pat recommended Monet’s garden at Giverny

Dinah recommended the Adirondacks in New York state for amazing autumn colour

October 2015

Beds at the Olympic park still looking great

olympic wild

 grasses olympic

October 2015

Arundel castle garden is well worth a visit – it was featured in the current RHS Garden magazine and the garden has a number of different features including a stumpery and wildflower beds

  • Pictures of the stumpery garden

stumpery arundel 2

stumpery again   stumpery arundel  stumpery more

  • The wildfower bed

list of wildflowers arundel  wildflowers arundel wildflowers 2 arundel

clary sage better
A bed of Clary sage

Sept 25th 2015 – Friday group members list of favourite gardens:

Community garden – on Stamford Ave corner with Cleveland Road

Pictures taken by Julia W of this lovely community garden on corner of 2 busy residential roads:

Cleveland garden 1 cleveland garden 2

  cleveland garden 3 cleveland garden 4

Julia W visited West Dean Gardens

‘Amazing Victorian glasshouses and cold frames, walled kitchen garden, imaginatively trained fruit trees, spring garden, borders, 2-mile walk through aboretum. Events like the annual Chilli and Apple Festivals.

The pristine glasshouses are at various temperatures with succulents, exotics, pelargoniums, and impressive single vegetables and herbs grown in large terracotta pots. Cold frames have lines of perfect salad crops and veg. I could spend all day just in this area.’

west dean 1

west dean 2 west dean 3

west dean 4 west dean 6

west dean 7 west dean 8

Sharon worked at Monks House, Rodmell

Orange is obviously the colour this year – check out the Crown Imperials

FullSizeRender (6)

Ruth visited Woolbeding Gardens a National Trust property in Midhurst

Sharon visited Gravetye Manor

Gravetye Manor became the home of the  revolutionary gardener, William Robinson in 1884. Robinson was a professional gardener and botanist and wrote about his ideas on horticulture in The English Flower Garden and  The Wild Garden. The garden today tries to hold true to Robinson’s ideas on naturalistic planting.

Gravetye 4 swan better

Pots in the  Gravetye Garden:

Gravetye 2


Clumps of Leucojum ‘Gravetye Giant’

Gravetye leucojums 2

Gravetye leucojums

Tulips in the hotel

Gravetye tulips

Sue and Mandy visited Petersham Nursery

Petersham Nurseries is a garden centre, shop and restaurant near Richmond.

Sue 4 Sue 5

Sue S 1 Sue 2

Sue 3

Recommendation from Sally….

Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden

The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

Friday, 20 March 2015 to Sunday, 11 October 2015

‘I have  walked past this gallery on so many occasions over the last 40 years, so when I saw that the exhibition combined two interests,  I had to visit and I was lucky as it was the lunchtime lull, with, at times, rooms to myself.

So, the exhibition was about the way in which the garden has been celebrated in art across four centuries starting with the first recorded gardens in Persian illustrated manuscripts.

Lots of highlights but a favourite was the  room celebrating the Renaissance garden with glimpses of the  great garden of Whitehall Palace with the family of Henry VIII, and alongside one of the first gardening manuals in Henry’s library. I also  loved the 17th century watercolour of a striped Tulip. Other gems included  the drawing of a colonnaded villa with  a roof garden planted with turf or herbs dating from c.1550 so not a 1990s innovation.

I lingered in front of a portrait that looked so familiar, of Jacopo Cellini, who worked for the Medicis in the 16th century – I had to take his picture for Ruth.

Sally 2

The ceramic flower arrangement that I mentioned was, in fact, a rather ornate clock! I nearly missed looking up at the ceiling to view a rather splendid chandelier but once again a bit too opulent to bring home!

Sally 1

Also the painting of Windsor’s fruit garden c.1770  – were they really growing melons under the glass  cloches?


The admission fee was £9.20  ( including a free audio guide that enhanced the tour for me) which allows for unlimited readmission for 1 year  – I think the gallery has at least 2 annual exhibitions and the next one is Dutch Artists, with paintings from the Queen’s collection.

There’s a really interesting programme of lectures  – here’s a sample:

“The Glory of the Garden” Free with exhibition ticket Wednesday 13 May or ‘An evening with Monty Don’   21st May ( £13.50)

Mary 1 Mary 3

  •  Prieure d’Orsan in France, a former monastery with a wonderful vegetable garden recommended by Vicky
  • Pensthorpe Natural Park in Norfolk – recommended by Julia W
  • High Line in New York,  a 1 mile linear park built on a disused freight rail line and designed by Piet Oudolf – recommended by Nanette
  • Great Dixter in Northiam, East Sussex- a spectacular garden and wonderful to visit at any time of the year
  • West Dean gardens near Chichester
  • Arundel Castle gardens recommended by Ann
  • RHS Garden Wisley– an amazing place to visit at any time of year
  • Explorers Garden, Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland – tells the story of intrepid Scottish plant hunters and the plants they discovered and brought back, e.g. Robert Fortune, David Douglas, George Forrest – think of Douglas firs and anything with fortune or forestii in the name

Book recommendations:

  • Bulbs by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix
  • Trees for your garden by Roy Lancaster
  • Designing with plants by Piet Oudolf
  • Grasses by Roger Grounds


Other garden related goods:

  • Karin brought a beautiful copper trowel she had been given as a present. Copper tools help deter slugs and snails as they leave traces in the soil. From or

February 2016

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A weekly account of the activities of the Friday Gardening Group at the Garden House in Brighton

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