It is over 120 years since the glasshouses were erected at West Dean Gardens which are listed Grade II on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Designed by Foster & Pearson between 1895 and 1901 the 13 Victorian houses are some of the finest examples in the UK. The jewel in the crown of the walled Kitchen Garden, the magnificent glasshouses remain in constant use to this day not only to nurture new plants but also new horticulturists learning their craft. The nectarine and late vinery house is in desperate need of renovation. It will take £40,000 to complete a full restoration to bring the glasshouse back to life and preserve it for the next 25 years and beyond.
"The West Dean glasshouses are exceptionally important. They must be preserved at all costs because of their history, their central role in the story of such a great garden and their continuing value for one of Britain's most exemplary centres of practical horticulture." Robin Lane Fox, Emeritus Fellow of New College, Oxford and Reader in Ancient History, University of Oxford.
This year marks 25 years since head gardeners, husband and wife, Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain, began the transformation of West Dean into award-winning gardens, in the wake of the Great Storms of 1987. In the years since 1991, they have revitalised the 19th century landscape and overseen tremendous changes which have brought the gardens international respect for both the quality and variety of horticultural practice.
A new photographic display will illustrate the highlights of 25 Years of Glorious Gardening in the renovated 'mushroom shed' at West Dean Gardens (1 April to 30 September). Free entry with a ticket to the gardens (adult standard entry £8.50, children go FREE).
Save the Glasshouses
This is what your donation will help to purchase:
For more information and to donate to the Save the Glasshouses appeal online visit www.westdeangardens.org.uk/appeal.
West Dean Gardens are open to the public from 1 February - 23 December. Highlights include; a 300-foot Edwardian Pergola designed by Harold Peto; an award-winning Sunken Garden; a fruit collection of 100 varieties of apples including many heritage varieties; a Spring, Wild and Woodland garden; parkland and St. Roche's Arboretum, with its fine collection of trees, offering breathtaking views of the South Downs, gardens and West Dean College on a two-mile circular walk.
Meet the gardeners - Summer Dining Series in the Gardens Restaurant
An evening with Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain, Head Gardeners,
West Dean Gardens (22 April 2016).
Free parking. Free admission to Shop and Restaurant. Dogs on short leads welcome.
Notes to editors