• 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. The final event in 2017 is shown below and can be booked now - just download and complete a booking form and send your cheque to the address indicated. 

SGT Booking Form

Monday 4th December 10.30 am – 4.00 pm

Festive Lunch and Lectures. The Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN20 7HZ

Cost: £32.00 per member, £37.00 per guest (includes coffee/biscuits, two-course festive lunch, tea/cake and lectures).

Eastbourne carpet bedding

Postcard dated 1923 of the famous ‘carpet bedding’ on Eastbourne’s seafront

Between the Downs and the sea: the location for our winter event provides the opportunity for an end of year visit to the seaside, to find out more about the exciting new project for SGT - the development of open spaces along the Sussex coastline, and to consider an artist’s interpretation of the downland. The programme includes coffee/tea and biscuits on arrival, followed by a talk on Eastbourne’s Hampden Park by Simon Hurt, Specialist Advisor for the Downland. Marcus Batty will then highlight recent developments on the South Coast research project.   The designed open spaces along the coast, which arose from the fashion of visiting the seaside, include squares, parks, promenades and seafront gardens. Eastbourne is famous for its ‘carpet bedding’ on the seafront in the summer, whilst the terraces near to the hotel feature many palm, succulent species and pine trees. The Helen Garden, a ten minute walk from the hotel, is on land originally owned by the Duke of Devonshire and offers splendid views of the sea towards Eastbourne pier.

After lunch we are delighted that Corinne Farmer, conservator at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne, will talk on the artist, wood engraver and designer, Eric Ravilious, who spent his childhood in Eastbourne and in later life explored the Downs landscape from a shepherd’s cottage known as ‘Furlongs’, in Beddingham. Inspired by the Sussex landscape, Ravilious is celebrated for his watercolours of the open downland, but he also painted more intimate spaces, such as the garden at ‘Furlongs’, and the greenhouses on the Firle estate. In the 1930s he was commissioned by Wedgwood to produce a range of designs for ceramics. The Garden and Garden Implements designs feature such implements and plants as a sunflower, a wheelbarrow and a hoe, and were inspired by visits to garden nurseries in Sussex and nearby in Kent. The Towner Gallery has an extensive collection of work by Ravilious and this illustrated talk will consider the particular attraction of the Downs for the artist.