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RHS Partner Garden regional winner 2023

Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Denmans Lane
Near Arundel
BN18 0SU

4 acres

01243 278950‬

Visit website

Opening Hours

Tue–Sun. Please see website for opening dates and times.


Please see website for admission prices.

RHS members

Free access (member 1 only for joint memberships) applies Thur, Jan–Dec (also Sat, Jan–Mar & Oct–Dec).


  • Accessible facilities
  • Accessible garden
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Dogs welcome
  • Free carer entry
  • Gift shop
  • Parking
  • Plant sales
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets


  • Gravel garden
  • Pond or lake
  • Prairie/naturalistic planting
  • Winter garden

About the garden

Owned by
Gwendolyn van Paasschen

Denmans Garden is a tranquil contemporary garden on the southern slope of the South Downs. Converted by plantswoman Joyce Robinson from a post-war market garden to an ornamental garden, Denmans is comprised of a diverse series of spaces connected by curving paths of gravel and mown lawn through rough grass.

Mrs Robinson, who lived at Denmans from 1946-96, was ahead of her time in considering the environment in her plantings and was a pioneer in creating naturalistic, low-maintenance gravel gardens. She started her gravel gardens at Denmans in 1970 and, inspired by the Greek landscape and the dry river beds of the South Downs, created two faux river beds on a slope formerly occupied by Guernsey calves. They terminate in a pond built by John Brookes MBE, one of Britain’s most influential and renowned landscape designers, who lived and gardened at Denmans from 1980-2018.           

Mr Brookes believed Mrs Robinson’s spontaneous plant combinations, which included grasses, herbs, shrubs and perennials, pointed the way of future gardening. He integrated her novel planting style with his own characteristically bold design flair, focusing on structure, texture, pattern and colour. The result is a combination of horticultural diversity fused with extraordinary design.    

Denmans, a Grade II post-war garden on the National Heritage List, also features a Walled Garden, ponds and a conservatory. Sheltered by the Downs and bathed in southern sunlight, it is full of unusual plants, some semi-tropical and some collected by Mrs Robinson and Mr Brookes from abroad. It is known for its creative plant associations and seemingly random plantings juxtaposed against both clipped and natural architectural plants.  

The garden, which has benches throughout for contemplation, has strong year-round interest and has been undergoing restoration since January 2018. Visitors will find inspiration and design ideas for gardeners of all skill levels and garden sizes. Staff are always happy to answer questions.

Plants of special interest

  • Agapanthus
  • Alliums
  • Camellias
  • Cornus (for winter stems or spring bracts)
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Dahlias
  • Hellebores
  • Laburnum
  • Magnolias
  • Maple
  • Primulas
  • Roses
  • Snowdrops
  • Waterlilies
  • Wisteria

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.