|Old Buckhurst Garden|
|The thumbnails below are linked to larger pictures
The garden at Old Buckhurst was started by its present owners, John and Jane Gladstone, in January 1988 (just after the hurricane). At that time, there was no garden at all; just lawns, a mature oak, holly and paving around the house.
The new owners brought car loads of cuttings with them from their previous garden to help get started. To cut down maintenance each bed is packed with plants, the idea being that when one plant has finished its main display, up pops another to take over. This seems to keep the weeds down quite well as there is little room for them to get started, except of course in the vegetable garden.
Jane and John pay particular attention to harmonious colour, texture, scent and shape when planting and tending their garden at Old Buckhurst in Markbeech. Planted with trees, shrubs, shrub roses and a wide variety of herbaceous plants including Campanulas, Daylilies, hardy Geraniums, Grasses, Irises, Lilies, Poppies, Peonies and Penstemons the 15th-century farmhouse's one-acre garden is a tranquil and quintessentially English cottage garden tended with an enthusiast's passion. Climbing roses and a wide range of clematis festoon the garden's walls while a range of climbers clamber over arches and a pergola.
Old Buckhurst used to be a farm with 80 acres. Now the partly walled garden extends to approximately one acre with an additional one acre paddock. The garden is surrounded by fields with extensive and lovely views to the South Downs. Being aware that the garden is surrounded by lovely countryside. Not wanting to spoil the view for other people, the owners have tried to plant native plants on the boundaries and to keep the more sophisticated plants and colours well inside the garden.
The house was apparently built between 1475 and 1525, thus making it about 500 years old. Floors and chimneys were inserted about 100 years after it was built. Dr. T. Boyle, who has written a book about Markbeech called 'The Unknown Village', thinks that Old Buckhurst is the oldest house in the village having been originally built on the site of a much earlier dwelling/camp. It is thought that Romans may have camped in the area as oyster shells have been dug up, which was considered their fast food!
The above pictures were taken in September when the garden was past its peak, so a new visit is scheduled for early summer.