About the garden
Edward James Foundation Ltd
West Dean Gardens welcomes visitors to a restored 92-acre award-winning garden that is internationally respected for both the quality and variety of horticultural practice. Explore the restored Walled Kitchen Garden, laid out in a classic Victorian design and see the splendid 13 Victorian glasshouses designed by Foster & Pearson. These are some of the few working glasshouses in the UK.
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 criss-crossing 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, and offers a circular two-and-a-half-mile walk with beautiful 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.