Press Release: National Gardening Week at West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens is joining the Royal Horticultural Society in celebrating National Gardening Week (13 - 19 April). Launched four years ago by the RHS it has grown into the UK's biggest celebration of gardening. On National Gardens Open Day (Friday 17 April) visitors will be able to explore the award-winning West Dean Gardens. For this special day only the Gardens are offering free entry for Adults. Children go FREE all year round.

"Now is the time at West Dean to see wonderful displays of spring salad leaves in the vegetable frame and potted plants under glass, perfect for keen grow-your-own gardeners everywhere," says Sarah Wain, Gardens Supervisor at West Dean. "The Victorian glasshouses are full of tropical plants, ferns, orchids, and auriculas while outside, daffodils are waving madly along with other seasonal bulbs and wildflowers."

Explore the award-winning Sunken Garden at the eastern end of the Edwardian Pergola, step into the Walled Garden and admire the fruit trees coming into blossom amid a carpet of primroses. The glasshouses will be showing new growth on the peach, nectarines and vines and out in the Kitchen Garden see the first protected plantings under cloches.

The gardens team at West Dean have planted over 500,000 bulbs to ensure the gardens look spectacular in spring - look out for Snakes Head Fritillaries, Grape Hyacinth and Scillas.

Finish your visit with a two and a half mile circular walk around the peaceful arboretum which offers breathtaking views of the South Downs and West Dean College. Enjoy a home cooked lunch or a delicious cream tea in the Gardens Restaurant, or browse the unique gifts in the Gardens Shop.

2015 Garden Events

West Dean House Opening, 9 - 10 May

West Dean Design & Craft Fair, featuring MADE, 19 -21 June

20th Anniversary Chilli Fiesta, 7 - 9 August

Apple Affair, 3 - 4 October

Half term week Halloween Activities, 26 - 31 October

Free parking. Free admission to Shop and Restaurant. Dogs on short leads welcome.


Notes to editors

  • West Dean Gardens are part of the Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust, also comprising West Dean College, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • Sarah Wain, West Dean Gardens Supervisor is also Chairperson of the Royal Horticultural Society Vegetable Trials Forum.
  • National Gardening Week
  • The Gardens are open from 1 February - 20 December with special event days throughout the year. See for more information.
  • The College runs over 700 short courses in arts, crafts, gardening, creative writing and music each year as well as postgraduate programmes in Conservation and Creative Arts. For more information visit
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • Any journalist interested in visiting the Gardens, attending a course or an event for news or review purposes should contact the Media Relations Team.
  • West Dean College and Gardens are situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

Media contact information

For media accreditation or high-resolution digital images, please contact:

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Relations Officer +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College and Gardens, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ