Win­ter canopy

Sussex Life - - Front Page -

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.

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