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SW London
A semi-mature, hardy individual who tries to get away with doing as little as possible in gardening as in life, still expects the best results & wonders why she is frequently disappointed! She likes to keep a photographic record of everything, good & frequently bad!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The rhythm of West Dean Gardens

DSCN2467 It has been quite a while since Mr B & myself took a very reasonably priced train trip to Chichester & then onwards to West Dean gardens. As the weather is a bit on the chilly side I thought I might regale you with some travellers tales.

West Dean is known for a number of things; the West Dean College provides studies for conservation, making & visual arts at all levels & lengths, many events, festivals, exhibitions & festivals are held there including the well known Chilli Fiesta & the gardens are home to a fabulous restored walled kitchen garden & an enormous Edwardian pergola designed by Harold Peto. To see everything on offer there do browse their web site.

I have many photos which include the fabulous kitchen garden, greenhouses, trained fruit & borders of colour co-ordinated perennials, but what particularly impressed me was the way so many shrubs in the parkland had been trimmed into undulating humps, hummocks, domes, whatever you might like to call them. I thought it was wonderful. It gave a movement or rhythm throughout the area. Some were very obvious; others only revealed themselves at a distance.

What do you think?


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By the way, there is a rather odd plastic tree trunk in one of the pictures. Did you spot it?


  1. I went to West Dean for a day course this time last year and loved both the course and the gardens. It was raining when I was there, so went round at a gallop instead of taking time to pause and reflect like you have. Thank you for telling us about another aspect of the garden which I missed. I now have even more reason to go back!

  2. I wandered around the delightful walled kitchen gardens when I was there a few weeks ago - it is all very lovely. I keep meaning to go back and do a longer walk up onto the Downs from there it looks glorious.

  3. I love hummocks, humps AND domes, particular golden ones. And who would have thought of putting sausage shapes around a tree ( is that the plastic one?). It looks a lovely garden and your pictures donut proud.

  4. I love West Dean, it is near to me so I can visit at different times of the year. The Chilli Fest and the Apple Fair are always great fun. Love the shapes in your photos. They do have a few "odd" shapes scattered around the garden which they call modern art. It's all a matter of taste I suppose.

  5. VP there are lots of lovely parts to those gardens but I thought this aspect was perhaps something not necessarly noted or noticed even.

    Arabella, I could post loads of pictures from the kitchen gardens, even the potting sheds were so very picturesque, but I will hold back.

    Gilly, sadly I can't put your 'donut' to rights, but thanks for the praise! And yes, that is the plastic tree; there is more than one in the garden!

    Ronnie you are very lucky livivng so close although it would not really take me too long to get there. I will return.

    BTW sorry I have not given you individual replies; I can't seem to get the reply button under each comment to work. I am just so not techie enough.

  6. thanks for the tour. The mounding bushes make everything look so "soft". Very nice. I just stumbled on your blog. Went over a number of past postings. Like it and will be following you. Jack

  7. Jack, thanks for stumbling in & nice comments. Hope to 'speak' again!