Spring in the garden at Bateman's

Close up of tulip flowers

Spring is a great time in the Bateman's garden as new life and colour return after the long winter months. Be prepared to feast your eyes on all that nature has to offer.

Springtime in the garden

In spring, a succession of flowers burst forth to delight the senses, from the earliest snowdrops and Narcissi to flowering trees and shrubs. The birds are singing and getting ready for nesting, and the frogs and toads are on the move to their favourite ponds. 

Orchard and vegetable garden

As you enter the garden, a sweeping view across the orchard, with its recently pruned apple and pear trees, provides an architectural framework with the promise of blossom in late April and May as the fruit buds swell.

The vegetable garden, a remnant of the World War Two 'Dig for Victory' campaign, lies ready to receive the earliest sowings of our vegetables which we grow for the Mulberry Tea-room so that you can have the freshest and most local produce possible. Our glasshouse is bulging with seedlings; the earliest will be planted in April under cloches.

Spring at Bateman's
A view of the lily pond at Bateman's in East Sussex with blossoming trees behind.
Spring at Bateman's

"A beautiful cup in a saucer to match"

This is how Kipling described his house and garden. At this time of year you can get a real feel for the structure of Rudyard Kipling's garden; the soft sandstone house sits beautifully within the garden and the valley beyond, ever present and providing a backdrop to the garden he created for his children to play in and his family and friends to enjoy, just as we want you to enjoy it today.

There's nothing too ostentatious here, and that's how Kipling wanted it, the layout of the paths and formal hedges surrounding and dividing the garden lead you gently past flowering shrubs and trees such as Chaenomeles speciosa and Magnolia x vietchii and the spring borders which lead you towards the Wild Garden with the River Dudwell running through it.

Spring colour in the borders includes Pulmonaria rubra, Brunnera macrophylla, primroses and hellebores mingling with the bright blue flowers of Scilla siberica and the most unusual green and black flower of the Widow Iris, Hermodactyllus tuberosus. You can also admire the skeletal form of the pleached lime hedges before the leaves start growing.

Chaenomeles x speciosa
A beautiful bright red chaenomeles x speciosa in flower at Bateman's National Trust in East Sussex
Chaenomeles x speciosa

The Wild Garden

One after another the colours of spring bulbs unfold until they appear to be tumbling over themselves in their eagerness to open and dazzle; white snowdrops, yellow narcissi, blue scilla, checkerboard fritillaries, bluebells and wood anemones, like white jewels carpeting the ground under flowering cherries and the white peaks of Snowy Mespilus. The smells of spring in the garden are an unexpected bonus; from the subtle fragrance of masses of Narcissi, to the heady scent of the azaleas and the intoxicating perfume produced by the Balsam Poplar as its leaves unfurl.

Enjoy a moment of peace in the wild garden at Bateman's
The wild garden at Bateman's, East Sussex.
Enjoy a moment of peace in the wild garden at Bateman's