June Charity Gardens
by Geoff Stonebanks
Geoff Stonebanks reports on a trio of the latest garden gems to join the National Garden Scheme for its June openings.
The month of June is always the busiest month in the Sussex calendar, with over 100 individual garden openings. One in particular, Lindfield Jungle, about 1½ miles north east of Haywards Heath, is a surprising, yet intimate garden. It is hidden behind a 1950’s mid terrace house. Described by its owners as a fantasy, packed full of plants to evoke tropical far-away places. Tim Richardson and Clare Wilson have transformed it into an atmospheric jungle oasis, planted for tropical effect. It is approximately 17 metres x 8 metres, with an emphasis on foliage and hot colours that develop through the seasons. From the planter’s terrace enjoy the winding path through lilies, cannas, ginger and bamboo, to the tranquil sundowner’s deck over hidden pools. There are some unusual plants to see too. Why not join Tim and Clare for tiffin! This garden opens by arrangement from 1st June to 31st October. Contact the garden owner to arrange a visit (12 maximum).
- Address: 16 Newton Road, Lindfield, Haywards Heath, RH16 2ND
- Telephone: 01444 484132
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Admission £8, including home-made teas, children free.
- Visits can be combined with 47 Denmans Lane or 5 Whitemans Close
Sienna Wood, one mile west of East Grinstead also opens for the first time on Sunday 3rd June. The visitor can meander through this peaceful 3½ acre garden, enjoy the lovely lakeside walk and the 6-acre ancient woodland behind. Start at the herbaceous borders, surrounding the croquet lawn, through the formal rose garden to the lawns and summer borders; then down through the arboretum to the lake and back through the vegetable garden.
En route you can see many unusual trees and shrubs. There is a children’s nature trail, treehouse and play area and possibly a sighting of wild deer including white deer.
- Address: Coombe Hill Road, East Grinstead, RH19 4LY
- Open from 12-5pm, home-made teas served
- Admission £5.00, children free
The final member of this brand new trio is Mill Hall Farm, Whiteman’s Green. On Sunday June 10th this relatively young garden, on the High Weald, opens for the first time. Constantly changing throughout the year, challenges include Sussex clay, deer, rabbits and pigeons. It is a north facing 2½ acre garden with a long view sloping down to the pond with lilies, irises, sanguisorba to name but a few. See the long border bursting with young trees and herbaceous plants. There is also a fruit and vegetable garden plus a Victorian underground water cistern.
Mill Hall Farm
- Address: Whitemans Green, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath, RH17 5HX
- Open from 12.30 to 5pm
- Home-made teas
- Admission £5.00 with children free