Woolbeding, West Sussex

Thursday 20 July

Visit to charming gardens surrounding this 17th century house near Midhurst, West Sussex, followed by lunch locally. A focal point is the Silk Route Garden opened in 2022 which culminates in a magnificent ten-sided greenhouse. The senior gardener will give an introductory talk.

The interesting gardens and Grade 1 listed house are owned by the National Trust but, since 1972, leased to the late Simon Sainsbury and his partner Stewart Grimshaw who still continues to live there. They, together with landscape architect Lanning Roper and Philip Jebb and, later, Julian and Isabel Bannerman, created the gardens as seen today. Lanning Roper’s design for the formal gardens is a series of rooms including a herb garden, hot borders and an orangery, all of which contain plants originating in and around the Mediterranean.

The Silk Route Garden greenhouse was designed by Heatherwick Studios and showcases plants from sub-tropical south-west China at the end of the route.

Access to the gardens is strictly by appointment and bus transport so parking for members has been arranged at the Royal Oak public house on the outskirts of Midhurst from which a coach will take us on to the gardens. Members coming by train from London can be collected from Haslemere station at 09.30 (08.30 from Waterloo arrives 09.23) to rendez-vous with those at the Royal Oak. Those coming by car are asked to arrive not later than 09.40.  On arrival at 10.00 at the gardens, 30 minutes before they open to the public, the senior gardener will give an informal talk forcusing on the Silk Route area, divided into 12 zones, and the subsequent challenges of maintaining their concept in an English setting.  The talk will be followed by coffee and cake before allowing members to wander freely round the 26 acres of the gardens before returning to the coach by 1.30pm for the short drive back to the Royal Oak for a two- course light lunch followed by coffee.

The cost of this visit including catering, coach transport and talk will be £44 per person for non National Trust members and £33.50 for NT members who must bring their cards on the day.  Please make payment on booking to secure your place.

If you have any questions about the day please email Briony Marriott brionymarriott@gmail.com.