Let me introduce you to Gravetye Manor gardens

Gravetye Manor and flowersI’ve been rather quiet on my blog recently as I went through a hellish period called moving house. But a huge upside is that I’m now basically living in the middle of a nature reserve in the West Sussex countryside. I’m also close to the gardens of Gravetye Manor which I finally had a chance to revisit this week.

Now a luxury hotel it was once the home of William Robinson (1838-1935) considered one of the most historically influential gardeners in Britain. This former Irish journalist became known as the “Father of The English Flower Garden” and a pioneer of the wild garden. In 1933 the London Evening News wrote: “He changed the Face of England. Grand Old Man of the New Gardening.”  As I’m still trying to catch up with settling in and some work projects, I’m afraid I won’t go into depth this week about William Robinson, his famous books, or the history of Gravetye Manor. But I will be in the future as I will be regularly heading over there to see what’s blooming and growing as the seasons change. Today is really a brief introduction to the Gravetye Manor gardens.

Wall blossoms and Gravetye Manor

Gravetye-Manor-lake-and-wild-meadowWilliam Robinson’s visionary work was put into practice in his gardens at Gravetye Manor – open to the public two days a week. The grounds include a wild garden, a flower garden, a kitchen garden, an orchard, a wild meadow by a lake and more – here’s a map on the hotel website. A large part of the rest of the 1000 acre estate is now run by the Forestry Commission with public nature trails winding across it.

Oh my it was rather a glorious day I picked for my brief visit this week – felt like a summer day as I wandered amongst the spring flowers!

Tree blossoms in sunlightPink Magnolias against blue sky

The pink magnolias blazened against the blue sky and the petals on the white magnolias looked like they were made of silk.White magnolia

orange blossomsBurgundy coloured tulips

As many of you lovely gardeners and flower lovers on Annie’s linky How Does Your Garden Grow have amazing vegetable and fruit gardens, I also wanted to share with you some scenes from the walled kitchen garden at Gravetye Manor.

Gravetye Manor Kitchen garden gate

The oval shaped walled garden was first constructed in 1898 by William Robinson using stone quarried from the estate for its walls. This garden as well as the greenhouses nearby supply the hotel with fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the year. Apparently its one of the few large estate kitchen gardens still in use in England.

Gravetye kitchen garden stone urn and pathEquipment in Gravetye kitchen gardenvegetable patch Gravetye ManorGravetye Manor rhubarb potsGravetye Manor kitchen garden plants

I was rather enamored by this elaborate back gate.

Gravetye Manor kitchen garden back gate

Throughout the walled garden there were also flowers growing in various patches.Tulips and flowers by wall

I also rested for a moment on this bench with William Robinson’s initials carved into the wall. I almost expected to see the visionary of wild gardening to appear next to me writing notes for one of his books.
William Robinson kitchen garden 1898

The head gardener at Gravetye Manor, Tom Coward, and his team also have a garden blog for regular updates on their plans for the gardens and William Robinson’s legacy. In a recent post they explain that ‘wild’ does not mean ‘wilderness.’ I’m also looking forward to attending some of their talks and events.

Gravetye Manor gardens are rather a special place for me to learn what grows when and where so expect some regular updates at Wild About Here. As entrance is free on the two open days (Tuesdays and Fridays) perhaps afterwards I might occasionally enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine at the exclusive hotel itself!

21 thoughts on “Let me introduce you to Gravetye Manor gardens”

  1. Helen The good life mum

    wow what a lovely nugget of beautiful and wisdom you have on your doorstep i can see your skills in gardening are going to go through the roof if you start going to all those fab talks. The magnolias were heaven to look at, wonderful pictures

  2. How fabulous that there are new gardens awaiting discovery. I look forward to hearing lots more about Gravetye Manor Gardens and hope that you’re settling into the new house x

  3. What a lovely place to be living to close to. I do love a walled kitchen garden and that one already for this time of year looks very productive.

  4. Wow that’s a stunning walled garden and the manor is dreamy. You are so lucky to live so close by I look forward to seeing more form there in future posts. I can see I’m going to have to head over for a visit sometime!
    The magnolia pinks against blue skies are just perfect aren’t they? Hope they eased your house moving stresses a bit?
    Thanks for joining in again lovely x

  5. It looks a grand place Kriss and looking forward to seeing more of it – maybe it’s a venue for one of Annie’s meet-ups too? Happy new home too and I love that gate with the seed heads on – so beautiful #hdygg

  6. Wow what a wonderful garden to have close by – so much exploring and learning to look forward to. I love the clematis in the second shot, makes me realise just how much growing my newly-planted Winter variety has to do!

  7. These gardens are wonderful, so much colour!
    A shame that the kitchen garden is one of only a few still in use, they are amazing.
    I can see why you plan on more visits, there is so much to explore

  8. Wow, what an amazing garden and some fab pics of it too. Congratulations on the move – I am about to enter that zone too…

  9. Wow what an incredible location for a wander, absolutely stunning. I’m not sure which part I love the most, it just looks like the most fabulous place to be – especially after moving. Glorious photographs as always. I hope you’re settled in your new place now and fingers crossed we’ll catch-up next week x

  10. can’t wait to see more of this beautiful place throughout the growing season. looking forward to seeing more of your new home in the country as well.

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