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Highdown Gardens


Highdown Gardens is a unique chalk garden nestled in the Southdown National Park to the north of Worthing, West Sussex overlooking the sea. The 8.5 acres gardens are home to a National Plant Collection, a ‘living library’ of rare plants and trees adapted to live on chalk throughout the year. Its extensive snowdrop and paeony collections, rare and ancient champion trees and shrubs growing in a challenging environment bring thousands of visitors each year. Many of the plants are from the original collection started by keen horticulturist Sir Frederick Stern in 1909.

It has been a while since we strolled around these lovely gardens, just a few miles away from us and we noticed a few changes since their award of a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

There is now a Visitor Centre and a Glasshouse, both sadly were closed this morning and a Sensory Garden has been built where the beautiful Rose Garden used to be. You can tell that I miss the Rose Garden!

I did manage to take some photos before the camera battery gave up, I didn’t think to charge it up last night.

Join us for a gentle stroll, it had to be gentle as it was very wet and muddy in places.

You should just about be able to read the above signage if you enlarge the photo on your screen.

The scent from the Daphne wafted around … just lovely.

Phlomis seedheads

The Arbutus x andrachnoides, or Red Barked Strawberry tree has amazing bark and tiny fruits.

A Prunus x Incam ‘Okame’ was breathtaking … so pretty.

Here are the Sensory Gardens, site of the old Rose beds.

We walked very carefully down the stone steps to the pond area, all looks so different from our last visit.

These photos should show the height of the planting in the chalk pit, an absolute feat to my mind!

There were Hellebores, Snowdrops and Euphorbia in bloom today.

At this point of our stroll my camera decided it had a flat battery, which was a shame as there were some other plants and trees worth showing.

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed seeing what is flowering right now in Highdown Gardens.

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Really lovely photos Shirley. Each one still has a look of February about it with a huge amount of promise for the coming weeks.

The Prunus is absolutely stunning and the hellebores look very pretty indeed.

You must have thoroughly enjoyed your time there - thank you. x

16 Feb, 2024


Good grief Chris, you were quick to comment, ha, ha!
It was sad to see the huge bank of Hellebores that I remember, have been culled, for want of a better word, with just a few remaining. In a week or two the yellow Aconites will probably be flowering.

16 Feb, 2024


I loved the walk with you Shirley!
I am like you as I would have loved the rose garden.
I wonder why they changed their minds about it.
I agree with Chris, the Prunus is amazing!
I also love the Arbutus and had one at Willow Cottage and now am on the lookout for one here.
Thanks for sharing.

17 Feb, 2024


A great day out Shirley.I enjoyed the tour & like the others I also like the red barked Arbutus & the Prunus is wonderful.

18 Feb, 2024


Julia, I think it's amazing how the gardeners keep it all looking so good, despite the challenges they must face.

Rose, thanks for enjoying the stroll around. I hope you find the Arbutus tree.

Thanks Josie, we were only there for about an hour, would have been longer had the camera battery not given up!

19 Feb, 2024


Loved you blog and pics, Shirley. Looks positively Springlike!! Well, it's definitely Spring in bloom. Looks a lovely place to visit. The Daphne must have been so fragrant as you strolled past. Your description of the Prunus is perfectly spot on!!!! Smashing colour.
The pond area and chalk pit look really well done, very picturesque. Thanks for sharing your visit!

20 Feb, 2024


Thanks for taking us on a walk around these garden, Shirley! Really lovely flowers everywhere! 👍 Shame the battery went flat on you!

20 Feb, 2024


Kate, thanks for looking in and pleased you liked the walk!

David, I must remember to check the battery status before taking photos... :o)

22 Feb, 2024


Our daughter gave me a handwarmer come battery charger for Christmas. It can charge up any electronic device if it can be connected by a USB port. So very "handy" (sorry! 😆) when out & about & nowhere to charge your phone or camera!

22 Feb, 2024


David, that's a very clever gadget.

22 Feb, 2024


Not particularly "clever", just useful! It's just a big battery after all!

23 Feb, 2024



24 Feb, 2024

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