Step into our jungle, densely planted with lush foliage-rich planting
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.”
The result is a bold new architectural entrance into the Dell along a needle-shaped concrete path that echoes the front of a ship, steering through the heart of the lush foliage-rich, jungle-like planting.
Dig a little deeper
The Round Dell was originally a former quarry, sheltered and filled with subtropical planting thanks to the amount of water it retained. When Sophie Walker redesigned the space in 2017, she retained the rainforest lushness and existing plants like the Japanese angelica tree (Aralia elata), Japanese banana (Musa basjoo), bamboo, gunnera, Trachycarpus fortunei, Fatsia japonica, the veined Veratrum nigrum and several large-leaved Tetrapanax papyrifer.
A swamp cypress, Taxodium distichum, planted in the 1970s, rises over the back of the garden, fringed by Populus lasiocarpa (the Chinese necklace poplar), which has spreading, magnolia-like leaves and Magnolia macrophylla.
Here you will also discover exciting rare plant specimens found by modern day plant hunters, Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones of Crûg Farm Plants in North Wales. These include water marginals Ligularia japonica ‘Rising Sun’ and Rodgersia podophylla ‘Crûg Colossus’. Other Crûg exotics planted in the dell include Aconitum arcuatum, a dark-purple monkshood from South Korea; Aralia apioides, with upright black stems and good autumn colour; Farfugium japonicum, with big, round dinner-plate leaves; hedychiums; schefflera; and the prehistoric- looking Zingiber mioga ‘Crûg’s Zing’, with yellowish stems and narrow leaves.
Plants of Interest
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.
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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.
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.