Garden Rooms

Discover the beauty of nature in the heart of the English countryside

The Azalea Ring in autumn at Borde Hill. Image: John Glover

Our Garden Rooms

Our nationally important English country Garden has magnificent views over 383 acres of Grade II* heritage listed Parkland. Planted with passion as a series of outdoor ‘Garden rooms’, and with one of the country’s largest privately owned collections of champion trees and sculptures dotted throughout, you can experience the world in one Garden.

We aim to take you on a journey as you move between the Garden rooms, many of which were originally planted by Col. Robert Stephenson Clark but renewed by subsequent generations of the family. Ours is a very different approach from many twentieth-century English gardens, where gardens are divided from each other by hedging or walls. In contrast, we try to give the approach of greater permeability and naturalism to the Garden.

Jay Robin's Rose Garden at Borde Hill. Image: Julie Skelton, awarded a finalist position in the Beautiful Garden’s Category of the International Garden Photographer of the Year Award 2023

Jay Robin’s Rose Garden

Designed by RHS gold medal winner Robin Williams in 1996 and named after Andrewjohn and Eleni Stephenson Clarke’s daughter, this garden now has over 750 fragrant David Austin English roses and is a real feast for the senses.

Italian Garden

One of the most popular rooms in the Garden. Here you will find our formal lily pool with panoramic views stretching across the South Park and lakes, surrounded by Italian style plantings. A place of pure tranquillity, it’s the ideal spot to soak up the sun and let the world pass by.

Italian Garden at Borde Hill
Paradise Walk in summer. Image: Molly Hollman

Paradise Walk

Connecting the South Lawn and West of the Garden, this colourful gentle ramble of a route, previously known as The Long Walk, winds its way along the tall stone southern boundary wall of the Garden and provides access to the Italian Garden, Round Dell and Old Potting Sheds.

Round Dell

Exotic sub-tropical plants have flourished in the micro-climate of this secret, sunken garden for many years. In 2017 it was re-imagined by RHS award-winning garden designer Sophie Walker, whose aim was to create “an immersive place that opens up secrets, slowly and sequentially through the process of a journey.”
Sub-tropical plants in the Round Dell at Borde Hill
Garden of Allah at Borde Hill. Image: John Glover

Garden of Allah

This beautiful corner of the Garden was named by Sir Ralph Stephenson Clarke because of its peace and tranquillity. Originally created in 1925 it was the main area Col. Stephenson Robert Clarke nurtured many of the species brought back by the Great Plant Hunters.

Today it is perhaps the most planted area of the garden, with an impressive range of rare Champion trees, shrubs and perennials enhanced over five generations.

Mid Summer Border and South Lawn

The Mid Summer Border is a teardrop-shaped bed of fiery-coloured perennials, grasses and shrubs, located in the south-eastern corner of the South Lawn. In 2012, former garden adviser to the National Trust and a holder of the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour, Dr Tony Lord, curated a mixture of herbaceous plants and Gold Standard Roses in shades of orange, red and yellow which are further complemented by burnished gold and green grasses.

Herbaceous plants in the Mid Summer Border at Borde Hill.
Herbaceous plants in the Mid Summer Border at Borde Hill.

Azalea Ring

The horseshoe shaped planting in this Garden creates a carpet of colourful deciduous azaleas which dazzle in shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, white and cream from late spring. This was one of the first areas to be planted by Col. Stephenson R Clarke at the turn of the twentieth century and despite being severely hit in the great storm of 1987, a number of unusual trees remain, alongside magnificent magnolias.

Old Potting Sheds

Once the heart of the working garden, these former sheds were home to plants that were propagated from cuttings or grown from seeds before being planted around the Garden we see now. The moss-covered ruins still have some leaded windows intact, creating an ethereal backdrop for plants from all over the world.

Double Chaenomeles on old brick wall at Borde Hill. Image: John Glover
Rhododendrons and Azaleas in the Old Rhododendron Garden at Borde Hill

Old Rhododendron Garden

At the entrance to this sweet-smelling Garden room, you’ll find a huge ‘Goddess Magnolia’ (Magnolia sprengeri var. diva) soaring above you and flanked by deep plantings of rhododendrons. These hybrids of Himalayan species are some of the first Chinese rhododendrons to be introduced to Britain by 19th century plant hunters Robert Fortune and Joseph Dalton Hooker.

Our Seasonal Highlights

Whatever the season, our Garden is a treat for the senses. From springtime’s magnificent displays of early flowering magnolias, camellias, azaleas and swathes of rhododendrons, to the summer months, when the glorious fragrance of hundreds of roses can be smelt all around. 

Autumn at Borde Hill is particularly special and the entire landscape is transformed by the colours of our mature, award-winning trees and fiery autumnal foliage in the Grade II* listed landscape.  

Find your favourite bench and enjoy the joyous balance of nature, while you sit in peaceful contemplation and let the world pass by.

Close up image of an insect on a flower. Image: Molly Hollman

Our Historic Plant Archive

The History Behind Our Unique Plant Collections

We owe our garden to the great plant hunters of the 19th century, who undertook hazardous and hostile treks through uncharted territory.

The Gardeners' Retreat Cafe

Located in the old Peacock House and nestled between the Rose Garden and Mid Summer Border, the Gardeners’ Retreat Café is the perfect spot to sit and relax with a barista coffee, light lunch or a delicious cup of tea. 

Our Garden Map

Take a look at a map of our 17 acre formal Garden.


The Garden is open 10am-5pm, daily. 

Day Tickets pre-booked online at least a day before your visit receive a £1 online discount.

Discover the Possibilities

A family next to the water feature in the Rose Garden at Borde Hill during summer.

Become a Member

Membership is your ticket to enjoy unlimited access to the Garden, Parkland and Woodland throughout the open season. Our members also receive free entry to a number of exciting events, from live music in the Garden to Specialist Plant Fairs and much more. Family Membership provides unlimited access to the Adventure Playground and free school holiday trails.

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Italian Garden at Borde Hill. Image: Molly Hollman

Our Garden & Grounds

Set within 383 acres of heritage listed Parkland, our formal Garden captivates and delights visitors with a series of intimate 'Garden rooms'. Beyond the formal Garden you can explore Woodland walks, the South Park and our lakes with outstanding views across the Sussex High Weald.

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A misty atmospheric view of trees in North Park at Borde Hill with cows in the distance.

Support Us

As a small, independent Garden Charity, we rely on your kind generosity to help fund our projects and to continue to grow sustainably, protecting our natural heritage for generations to come. 'Reinventing Borde Hill' is our most ambitious project to date and your support will help us to achieve exciting plans to benefit our local community.

It would make a huge difference if you would consider supporting us by making a donation – thank you.

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