Dell gets a makeover

Borde Hill in West Sussex is looking good in July

Round Dell at Borde HillJuly is the ideal month to enjoy the hot Mid Summer Border with herbaceous plants and roses and marvel at the 750 David Austin fragrant roses in the Rose Garden or cool down in the shady Round Dell, which has had a new make-over with Sophie Walker’s modern design.

Borde Hill Italian GardenThe new design at Borde Hill Garden in West Sussex was unveiled on Thursday 5 July as part of the garden's 125th anniversary celebrations and mixes exciting new plant specimens, found in the 21st century, alongside Borde Hill's significant treasury of plants, which includes one of the largest collections of champion trees in private gardens.
The new garden in the Round Dell is set within a clearing that was once excavated for stone to build the house.  
Andrewjohn Stephenson Clarke, of Borde Hill Garden, said: "We hope that the Round Dell project  will communicate the depth of gratitude we have to the plant hunters of old and also the new pioneers of the 21st century, like Crûg Farm Plants. The design is stunning and we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Sophie Walker. We hope the visitors enjoy the narrative of this new part of the garden which extends the horticultural history of Borde Hill and my great-grandfather, Col Stephenson Clarke, who did so much to bring rare and unusual plants to Sussex."
Italian Garden at Borde HillThe design itself encourages visitors to explore the lively heart of the Round Dell through a conceptual, minimal, architectural design. A single arrow-shaped path slices through the Dell, it's low concrete sides meeting at a single point which leads to a concrete pool of water, fed by a waterfall that falls from overhead.
In 2014 Sophie became the youngest woman to design a garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with her garden Cave Pavilion, and she has already won multiple awards for her designs. Her work at Borde Hill melds history and modern design.  

The Round Dell contains many varied plant species. Andy Stevens, the Head Gardener, has some favourites including Schefflera macrophylla, Aralia cordata, Fatsia polycarpa, Zanthoxylem ailanthoides and Woodwardia unigemmatia.


Plan a great day out

Ther RHS Parter Gardens host a variety of special walks, events, talks and shows throughout the summer, so there is always something new to discover. See our full list of Partner Garden events.

RHS Membership

I enjoy a refreshing walk… my membership gives me free family days out as often as I like.

Mrs Giddings, RHS member

Join the RHS

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.