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Highdown Gardens near Worthing.


Described as a unique & beautiful garden on downland countryside overlooking the sea, Highdown was created by Sir Frederick Stern as early as 1909, it was not until he married in 1919, that he settled down with Lady Stern to create together one of the famous gardens of its time out of the uncompromising surrounds of a Sussex Chalk Pit.
Many of the original plants from expeditions to China and the Himalayan regions can be seen in the garden today.
On the death of Sir F. Stern in 1967, aged 83, Lady Stern carried out his wishes & left the garden to Worthing Borough Council.
We visited today, cooler but dry, the birdsong from Robins, Finches and Blackbirds followed us around, no traffic sounds, wonderful !

You may wish to get refreshment before viewing this blog, it’s a long one !

Let’s begin by walking through the Himalayan Birch Bark Cherry Avenue

Originally planted in 1938 to give Winter interest with their decorative peeling bark.

We’ll walk on down to the Chalk Pit, we’re about 100ft. above sea level so all a bit up and down hill, hope you’re wearing sturdy shoes !

It’s very hard to describe just how difficult the planting must have been, as the sheer Chalk face behind this planting is almost vertical !
This handkerchief tree was unusual.

At the bottom of the cliff face is the Bamboo Pond, safely netted over with a little fence to stop children getting too close! This was created in 1910.

Now we’ll leave the Chalk Pit and pond, start walking uphill to the Cave Pond, also built in 1910 on the site of a pig sty. When the sty was cleared an old lime kiln was discovered. The pond is cement lined extending back into the cave.

Look at the varying shapes and sizes of the trees, there was some damage in the great storm of 1987, replanting has rectified that now.

We’ll walk through the woodland paths, passing many lovely plants on the way

We’re back on fairly level ground now to enter the Rose Garden, still a bit early for many blooms, the trellis should look wonderful in the Summer, with under planting of hardy Geraniums.

We’ve almost toured the whole of the garden now, I know you’re dying for a cuppa, not too far to go !

I don’t know what this is, somebody on GoY will though !

Oh sorry, just had to run back to the Rose Garden for this one (or did I just put this on in wrong sequence)

On our way out we pass the propagation area

This green pillar box is one of a very few made during the short reign of King Edward VIII in 1936, I believe it used to be in Worthing town centre.

We’ll pass on having a cuppa here as a coachload of holiday makers from Yorkshire have just formed a very long queue !

More blog posts by shirley_tulip

Next post: The closure of Leonardslee Gardens



Thank you Shirley for the wonderful journey through Highdown gardens, I loved every minute of it. I wouldn`t have time to stop for a cuppa because I`d be taken photos just like you! I`m so pleased you had such a lovely day there, I wish I`d have been there too. :o)

26 May, 2010


really enjoyed the blog and tour shirley, beautifull gardens and pictures, love the peeling bark ;o))

26 May, 2010


Glad you enjoyed it Sandra, it's a wonderful place in the Summer too when all the Roses are out. Lots of benches for a chance just to sit and gaze. I'm getting old now, thinking of sitting much too often. lol

26 May, 2010


Ooh, 2 Sandras in a row ! I was worried it went on too long, just had to take sooooo many photos ! lol

26 May, 2010


lol shirley,my hubby like that,, always wanting to sit down,, ;o))

26 May, 2010


Loved reading you blog and looking at all the photos, thanks for sharing.

26 May, 2010


Thanks Carol, got any idea what the 'upside-down' plant is ? Not many plants/trees were labelled !

26 May, 2010


Shirley - it's nectaroscordum siculum, a bulb related to the allium family

26 May, 2010


Many thanks Andrew, I've never seen one before, so unusual. Also, the last tree in the trio of trees photos, is it a Judas tree (Cercis siliquastrum) please ?
I couldn't decide if it was, distinct lack of labels around !

26 May, 2010


The one with no leaves or flowers to give me a clue? Oh, come on!!! lol

26 May, 2010


Ok, point taken Andrew ! Now I shall have to return and ask the gardener, who never seems to be about, just a wheelbarrow and some abandoned tools !

26 May, 2010


Wonderful walk through the gardens with you,Shirley.I've not heard of this place before,so will bear it in mind,..on second thoughts,better write it down.Lol.Just having my cuppa now...:o))

26 May, 2010


Hi Sandra, if you're ever down South make a point of a visit there. The coach party were from Coalville, Leics. NOT Yorkshire ! They were wondering where the sun had hidden as grey skies today. Well, we don't always have great weather down here ! lol

26 May, 2010


From your photos it looks a lovely place to visit. Was going to tell you about the plant but Andrewr beat me to it. Had this in the long and distant past

26 May, 2010


looks a grea tplace to visit shirley.....

27 May, 2010


Lol,Shirley,but us yorkshire folk form long queues too,..a lot of us,you know,and we get everywhere :o)))

27 May, 2010


Holly, you're not too far away, pack a picnic and have a walk around these lovely gardens.
Ha ha Bloomer !

27 May, 2010


i havnt got a car shirley..and i cant always walk to far.....due to health reasons...

27 May, 2010


A wonderful place to visit with so much interest. It must take a lot of looking after.
The one you didn't know is a Honey Lily - Nectaroscordum. I have them and they are quite hardy. Pitty about the cuppa. I could have done with one lol

28 May, 2010


I have posted a further blog in March 2011 to show the difference in the gardens.

11 Mar, 2011


I have a bone to pick with you my girl !!..I have been reading this with interest,and then came across a comment ..from me..! erm,I looked at the date..You already know how easily I get confused,and I thought there were a lot of flowering plants for March .Lol.You are hell bent on getting us to read it again!.Anyway,it is all very nice..:o)

11 Mar, 2011


Aha, Sandra, my cunning plan worked then ......... amazing how it all fills up in a couple of months though. : o )

11 Mar, 2011


Lol Shirley..I did laugh to myself..nothing strange there,then :o)

11 Mar, 2011


Coach trip from Coalville - cool my home town

26 Jan, 2012


Lol, Paul! ... I expect it was a coach trip taking in gardens around Sussex ... :o)

27 Jan, 2012

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