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Please check with garden owners or their website to confirm current dates open
Good Friday and rest of Apr - 30th Sept; Mon - Sun; 10am - 6pm
Oct - Nov; Mon - Fri; ; 10am - 4.30pm
Dec - Jan; Mon - Fri; 10am - 4pm
Feb - Mar; Mon - Fri; 10am - 4.30pm
Last admission to the Gardens will be 30 minutes before closing time
Refreshments nearby. All-terrain wheelchair available; call 01903 221104
Impressive collection of chalk-loving plants, many from Himalayan regions.
Kenmore Guest House, Rustington Moorings, Worthing
Star Inn, Steyning George & Dragon, Burpham
A ten acre garden made in a chalk pit by a banker who was also an enthusiastic gardener. Naturally, Highdown specialises in chalk-loving plants. There is a magnificent collection of Paeonies which are at their best in May. Sir Frederick Stern wrote a book on Highdown Gardens and monographs on paeonies and snowflakes.
Highdown Gardens are the result of fifty years of dedicated work by Sir Frederick and Lady Stern. On land that included a disused chalk pit, the gardens are said to have been an experiment to discover which plants would thrive on chalk. Lilacs and Junipers were amongst the first shrubs to be planted. The number of species that can now be found in the garden is a testament to the botanic innovation of the Sterns and indeed their Age; visitors will be able to find species brought back from China and the Himalayan Region by Reginald Farrer and Ernest Henry Wilson.
Although the views across The South Downs and the sea, are a draw within themselves, the gardens offer variety and year round interest. In spring, the Hellebore Bank boasts a profusion of colour. In summer, visitors' noses will lead them to The Rose Garden and Herb Garden. Roses hold great importance in this garden; of note being Rosa Highdownensis, raised by Sir Stern in 1928, and Rose Wedding Day, which flowered for the first time on the Sterns' wedding anniversary. In the Middle garden, Daffodils, Crocus, Snowdrops and Anemones will abound at this time of the year. In autumn, the Himalayan Birch Bark Cherry trees and Paper Bark Maple must be seen. However, The Cave Pond, created on the site of a pigsty, and the Bamboo Pond provide a constant source of interest.
Created from 1910 onwards, and taken over by Worthing Borough Council in 1967 on the death of Lady Stern.