Wakehurst Place near Ardingly

Wakehurst Place

Wakehurst Place

Wakehurst Place is another gem of a garden located in Ardingly near Haywards Heath It is often referred to as ‘Kew in the country’.  It was created by Gerald Loder who purchased the estate in 1903 and spent 33 years developing the gardens. The estate now belongs to the National Trust and is managed by Kew.  The Millenium Seed Bank project was opened at Wakehurst in 2000 and its aim is to assemble a collection of seeds from more than 10pct of the world’s flora.  You can actually see the scientists at work when you visit the building.  You could easily spend a few hours here roaming through the natural woodlands, down through valleys and past lakes, streams and rivers.  You will find a large number of water and bog plants.  When I visited in early July the irises were in full bloom and quite a sight to behold.

The Loder Valley nature reserve is well worth walking through.  In some parts it felt a bit like being in a tropical jungle particularly as it was extremely hot on the day of my visit.  Wander back through the Himalayan glade and enjoy the superb views from the top of the glade.  By all accounts Loder was fascinated with Rhododendrons and these must be an amazing sight in the spring.

Take a look inside the mansion as several of the rooms are open.

A view of the Garden at Wakehurst

A view of the Garden at Wakehurst

Himalayan Glade at Wakehurst

Himalayan Glade at Wakehurst

A lake at Wakehurst

A lake at Wakehurst

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