• Clinton Lodge, Fletching
  • Coates Manor, Fittleworth
  • Isfield Place
  • The Oast House, Isfield
  • Pashley Manor
  • "Hot Bed of Unrest" at Turners House (left) and Old Vicarage (centre and right), both Nr Heathfield
  • Wakehurst Place
  • Clinton Lodge, Fletching


Each year SGT organises a programme of lectures and garden visits to help our members and their guests learn about garden heritage and enjoy the opportunity to meet likeminded people. Details spring events in 2017 are shown below and can be booked now - just download and complete a booking form and send your cheque to the address indicated.  Details of events later in 2017 will be added to the website at the end of May.

 SGT Booking Form Spring 2017


Friday, 2nd June, 2017. 2.00 – 4.00 pm. Fairlight End, Hastings, East Sussex, TN35 4HB

Cost: £11.00 per member of SGT or other County Garden Trust. £16.00 per guest. Tea and cake included.

Fairlight End award

This attractive country garden has been created on a steep ridge overlooking the Wealden landscape, close to the coast in East Sussex. The owners, Chris and Robin Hutt, took on a challenge eleven years ago when they moved to this garden and began planting on ground that sloped in all directions. They collaborated with the landscape architect, Ian Kitson, to create a contemporary garden around an 18th century house, with curving lawns and pathways, and planting that reflects shape and movement. Chris and Robin have kindly agreed to give a guided tour of the garden, which includes a wild flower meadow, a large orchard, ponds, and a model kitchen garden. An article about the garden can be found in Gardens Illustrated, June 2016. A plant stall will be available on the day.

Fairlight End received a 2015 Award from the Sussex Heritage Trust. The judges’ citation commented: ‘A thoughtful and beautiful integration of the countryside and garden landscape with contemporary elements, such as steel borders, in an infinity style. Sculptural pieces complement the listed house and act as plant supports. Old character trees add a timeless feel to the new plantings.’

 Fairlight End 3

Thursday 22nd June 2.30 pm – 6.00 pm. Ecclesden Manor, Angmering and Highdown Gardens, Worthing.

£8 per member £12 per guest. (Including tea and cake). We are limited to a group of 30 for this private visit.

Eccleston and Highdown

We start our afternoon visit at Ecclesden Manor, a garden of ten acres designed in the 1990s by the iconic twentieth century garden designer, John Brookes. The owner, Sue Holland, has kindly invited us to see her unique garden which has trees originally planted by John Brookes, a series of ponds linked to the manor house, a summer house and a lime tree walk. We are delighted that Dr Barbara Simms will give a short introduction to the work of Brookes, before Sue takes us on a tour of the garden. We will finish with tea and cake before moving on to Highdown Gardens. This is also a twentieth century garden, created by Sir Frederick Stern in 1909, out of an old chalk pit, and home to a number of unusual trees and plants. The gardener will take us on an early evening tour of the garden.  

Friday 7th July 2017. 10.30 – 4.00 pm. All day visit to two gardens near Heathfield, East Sussex.

Cost: £15 per member. (Morning coffee and cake and afternoon tea and cake included). We are limited to a group of 30 for these two visits and cannot invite guests on this occasion.

Stop Press: Fully booked with a long waiting list - no further bookings being accepted.

Turners Hill House and Brightling Down Farm v2

We begin the morning with a visit to Turners House, the inspiring garden of Christopher Miscampbell and Julia Padbury, We will have coffee on arrival and an introduction to the garden from the owners, describing how they have met the challenge of a garden exposed to the westerly winds and drought. We can then explore the richly planted borders, the rose walk, a scrubbed birch grove and an underplanted orchard. Lunch is not included, but the Three Cups pub is a six-minute walk away. If you would prefer to bring your own lunch Julia and Christopher have kindly said we may use their lawn (but please bring a folding chair with you).

In the afternoon we visit Brightling Down Farm, a charming garden with different areas, including a Zen garden, walled vegetable garden and water garden. The owners, Mr and Mrs Stephens, have opened their garden especially for SGT members, and will take us on a guided tour.

Dates for your diary later in the year

Wednesday, 26th July, 2017. Half day visit to Pashley Manor 10.30 – 12.30.

For our morning visit to Pashley Manor, on the border of East Sussex and Kent, we shall have an introductory talk on the development of this romantic garden. The café serves homemade local food or picnics may be taken in the car park field where there are tables and benches. Pashley Manor is close to other renowned gardens such as Great Dixter, Sissinghurst and Merriments and you might like to make your own arrangements to visit one of these gardens in the afternoon.

Tuesday, 15th August,, 2017. All day visit to two notable gardens near Dorking in Surrey.

We begin the morning at Munstead Wood, home of the renowned plantswoman, Gertrude Jekyll. Her private garden will be open especially for our visit, and the head gardener will give us an introduction to Munstead and a guided tour of the garden that Jekyll began creating in 1883..   Lunch is not included but Winkworth Arboretum (NT) is nearby and has a café. After lunch we move to Wootton House, owned by the Evelyn family since 1579 and where John Evelyn, the garden designer, writer and diarist, laid out the gardens in the 1640s. Despite modifications features of the original gardens remain, including a terraced mount and classical garden temple. We shall have a self-guided tour of these gardens. Wootton House is now a hotel, and serves afternoon tea.  

Wednesday, 6th September, 2017 Half day visit to Penns in the Rocks, Tunbridge Wells.

Monday, 4th December, 2017 Christmas Lecture and Lunch at Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne.