Garden of Allah

Home to rare magnolias, champion trees and a wildlife pond, with views over the North Park beyond

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 four generations.

In 1997, we created a wildlife pond thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and the entire space offers spectacular views across the Ouse Valley to the viaduct.

The Holy Trinity Magnolias obvata fraseri officinalis
Rhododendron 'Horizon Monarch' at Borde Hill

Dig a little deeper

Originally part of the Parkland, the soil conditions in this area are ideal for trees and as a result some have reached ‘champion’ proportions. Here you can experience the sight of a 60ft tall Liriodendron chinense (Chinese tulip tree) which was raised from a seed collected in central China by E.H. Wilson in the 1900s and planted at Borde Hill in 1913. Its lotus-like flowers, together with delicately shaped leaves, make it one of nature’s wonders not to be missed.

The Garden of Allah is also where you can discover rhododendrons collected by Frank Kingdon-Ward and the most magnificent magnolias from three continents including Magnolia fraseri, American and a champion tree which was grown from seedling in 1933 and bloomed in 1936. Another champion is Magnolia obovata (syn. M. hypoleuca) from Japan while Magnolia officinalis, from China and also champion was presented to Col. Stephenson Robert Clarke in 1933 as a gift from Col. L.C.R Messel of Nymans Garden. All three champion magnolias flower at the same time in May with gigantic scented creamy flowers perfuming the entire area.

The path winds through plantings of rhododendrons and camellias grown from seeds collected by Frank Kingdon-Ward in North Burma and George Forrest in south-west Yunnan.

In 1997 for late winter and early spring colour, hellebores were introduced to this area and in 2018,  Eleni Stephenson Clarke added Ashwood cream hellebores speckled with purple.

Further along is one of Borde Hill’s major contributions to the gardening world, a radian rose-pink flower Camellia × williamsii ‘Donation’ – one of the finest hybrid camellias in the world. 

Plants of Interest

  • Crinodendron hookerianum
  • Betula pendula ‘Youngii’
  • Fuchsia cultivars
  • Adicia polycarpa
  • Hydrangea longpipes
  • Magnolia campberllii molicomata
  • Richea scoparia
  • Liriodendron chinense
  • Magnolia obovata
  • Magnolia fraseri
  • Magnolia officinalis
  • Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’
Garden of Allah in Autumn. Image: John Glover

Did you


Warren Wood was created in 1905 and contains many rare and exotic trees including Meliosma beaniana. One of the rarest trees in the world, ours is one of only 3 to be found in Britain - it was collected from China by the Plant Hunter Ernest H Wilson and planted at Borde Hill in the early 1900's.
Meliosma beaniana in Warren Wood at Borde Hill
A child on the zip wire in the Advenure Playground at Borde Hill.
Children in the Italian Garden. Image: Emli Bendixen

For Families

The ideal place for children to explore, learn and find joy in nature

Plan a fun-filled day for you and your family in the great outdoors, come rain or shine. Enjoy the perfect balance of fresh air and big open spaces to roam in, then refuel at the Gardeners’ Retreat Cafe, enjoy a picnic in the Garden or by the lakes or treat yourself to a delicious ice cream from the Gift Shop.


Connect to the beauty of nature while supporting our Garden for future generations by becoming a Member.

Members enjoy unlimited access to the Garden, Woodland and Playground throughout the open season, as well as free entry to highlights from our varied events programme. Visit time and again and enjoy free family trails during the school holidays, exclusive open days and monthly Garden newsletters.

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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