Anew Winter Garden featuring 33,000 plants has been planted at Wakehurst in Ardingly. The garden, which officially opens to the public on 23 January, has been shaped and planted with large swathes of plants and trees that look their very best in winter time. “Winter colour and scent were of primary importance when choosing the plants. This insures visitors will enjoy the garden both on bright days and during duller days when the light is low,” explains Wakehurst’s head of landscapes, Ed Ikin. Wakehurst says it has always been a trail blazer for winter gardens – with one of the first in the UK being planted onsite in 1986. It had a stamp collection style of planting which was extremely fashionable at the time. The centrepiece of this garden is a collection of mature Himalayan silver birch trees. Planting them was a careful logistical operation, according to Wakehurst, and involved anchoring the 10ft high trees firmly into the ground with specially designed stakes. The dramatic pure white trunks have been interspersed with the coppery gleam of the Tibetan cherry for a dash of seasonal colour. Within this canopy, the rich fragrance of daphne and witch hazel, placed close to path edges, reward visitors with their perfume. While, texture and colour come from massed blocks of cornus, bronze bergenia, feather-like calamagrostis grass and hellebores.
Complete immersion in winter beauty is one of the main themes of the garden, which has been designed so that from certain angles you can see nothing but nature all around you.
“You can rest on one of the contemporary carved benches and feel cocooned as you look up at the winter sky. The all-weather path twists and turns throughout the garden, adding to the feeling of discovery – you don’t quite know what you will see around the next corner,” Ed promises.
For a cohesive look, the Winter Garden reflects many of the plants and trees found already at Wakehurst, ensuring that it seamlessly blends into its surroundings. Plus, swathes of cyclamen, snowdrops, crocus and box hedging were used to draw the garden together.
Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Discover Rye Harbour project has been given a boost by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The trust recently announced that the plans have been awarded a first-round pass by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with a development grant of £47,200.
Based at a new Discovery Centre to be built at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, the project will offer a year-round programme of exhibitions, events and education opportunities for more than 350,000 annual visitors.
Director of learning and engagement at Sussex Wildlife Trust, Pete Crawford, says: “Rye Harbour is a very special place, and this project will engage thousands of visitors, including many young people, who PALLANT HOUSE RENOVATION STARTS Pallant House Gallery in Chichester has been awarded £300,000 funding by the Arts Council to start phase one of an ambitious new capital renovation project.
The first phase of the project will focus on renovating the public facilities on the ground floor of the gallery. The work will also see the installation of improved signage and better access to the gallery’s café. After the first phase is completed the gallery aims to develop the Coach House to include a new gallery, a collections centre for open-access art storage and conservation, an expanded library and archive, meetings rooms and administration suite.