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Open 10.30am–4pm, 1–28 Feb; 10.30am–5pm, 1 Mar–31 Oct; 10.30am–4pm, 1 Nov–22 Dec; open from 9am weekends & BH.

WEST DEAN GARDENS

Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

West Dean
Nr Chichester
PO18 0RX

6 miles north of Chichester on A286.

92 acres (37ha)

Tel
01243 818210

Visit website

Admission

Non-member adult £6.25 (winter); £9.50 (summer).

RHS members

Free access (Member 1 only) - February-March & 1 October-22 December.

Facilities

  • Baby changing facilities
  • Café
  • Disabled facilities
  • Dogs welcome
  • Free carer entry
  • Gift shop
  • Group rates
  • Parking
  • Picnics allowed
  • Plants for sale
  • Restaurant
  • Toilets

Features

  • Arboretum
  • Autumn colour
  • Award winner
  • Colour themed borders
  • Cottage planting
  • Glasshouse (open to public)
  • Herbaceous border
  • Pond or lake
  • Prairie/naturalistic planting
  • Sculpture
  • Sub-tropical garden
  • Water garden
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Woodland

About the garden

Owned by
Edward James Foundation Ltd

West Dean Gardens is a restored 92-acre award-winning garden open to the public and is internationally respected for both the quality and variety of horticultural practice. Inspired by the BBC’s Victorian Kitchen Garden (1987), explore the restored Walled Kitchen Garden, laid out in a classic Victorian design and see the splendid 13 working Victorian glasshouses designed by Foster & Pearson between 1895 and 1901. These are claimed to be some of the few working glasshouses in the UK and house a huge variety of plants – from aubergines to orchids and peaches to peppers.

Outside are orderly rows of cabbage, carrots, leeks, lettuce and beetroot, alongside herbaceous borders in rich reds, oranges and yellows. The kitchen garden has more than one mile of walls covered in trained espalier fruit trees and a fruit garden with 100 apple varieties. Beyond the walled garden the 35-acre ornamental grounds, where more than 500,000 spring bulbs have been naturalised, act as a foil to the many heritage features. These include a 300-foot Edwardian Pergola constructed in 1912 and designed by Harold Peto, and the award-winning Sunken Garden where rich planting provides intimacy and sense of shelter, in contrast to the spaciousness of the surrounding lawns.

The Spring Garden features flintwork bridges crisscrossing the River Lavant, a rustic summerhouse with moss walls, seaweed decorations, heather ceiling and thatched roof and a laburnum and ivy tunnel. A stroll to St. Roche’s Arboretum reveals an extensive tree collection including Californian Redwoods planted in 1992, already more than 30ft high, and offers a circular two and a half mile walk with stunning panoramic views of the South Downs. The Visitor Centre houses an imaginative gift shop, plant sales area and a licensed restaurant, which uses produce grown in the gardens. Dogs on short leads are welcome.

Plants of special interest

  • Agapanthus
  • Alliums
  • Alpines
  • Asters
  • Autumn bulbs
  • Begonias
  • Bluebells
  • Cacti & succulents
  • Camellias
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Clematis
  • Conifers
  • Cornus (for winter stems or spring bracts)
  • Cut flowers
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Dahlias
  • Delphiniums
  • Ferns
  • Fruit blossom
  • Fruit bushes/trees
  • Fuchsias
  • Grasses
  • Hellebores
  • Herbs
  • Hostas
  • Irises
  • Laburnum
  • Lavender
  • Lilies
  • Magnolias
  • Orchids
  • Primulas
  • Rhododendrons/azaleas
  • Roses
  • Shade-loving plants
  • Snowdrops
  • Spring bulbs
  • Sweet peas
  • Topiary
  • Vegetables
  • Wildflowers
  • Wisteria

Get involved

We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.