Summer in the garden at Bateman's

The rose garden and pond at Bateman’s, East Sussex

As we venture from spring into summer, the gardens at Bateman's continue to bloom in a kaleidoscope of colour and there's the scent of rose in the air too.

The summer garden

Rudyard Kipling wanted his garden to be a place for family and friends; somewhere where his children could explore and use their imagination and where friends could relax and unwind.


At Bateman's, Rudyard Kipling's love of roses can still be seen today.  As you approach the house through the orchard you are greeted by the glorious scent of rugosa roses and the fragrant rose walk. On the walls there are climbers and ramblers in a variety of colours including primrose yellow Rosa 'Goldfinch'.

There are plantings of shrub, climbing and floribunda roses inter-mixed with flowering shrubs and perennials but the crowning glory must be the lily pond and rose garden designed by Kipling himself; the sketch plan can be seen in his study. Here three varieties of floribunda roses in shades of pink and red flower throughout the summer and well into autumn.

The summer borders

One of the highlights of a summer visit to Bateman's are the Mulberry Garden borders. Originally laid out as an ornamental kitchen garden, these beds were replanted in the 1970s as a mixed shrub and perennial summer border. In 2013 we changed the planting to better reflect the feel of this space as Kipling would have known it. Every year the garden team add more colour with plants both ornamental and edible.

Mulberry Garden, Bateman's
The beautiful mixed colour of the companion planting in the Mulberry Garden borders at Bateman's in East Sussex
Mulberry Garden, Bateman's

Head Gardener, Len Bernamont, comments,

'Being a walled garden, this space would have been perfect for growing a wide range of produce for the family and household, but we do know that this area largely contained more ornamental elements alongside fruit trees planted in the borders and on the sunny south and west facing walls. 

This has given us an opportunity to let our imaginations run riot and experiment with all sorts of planting combinations; you'll find giant sunflowers growing amongst sweetcorn, tomatoes and purple mangetout racing Morning Glory to the top of rustic obelisks or curly kale and red cabbages growing as accent plants amongst Zinnias, Dahlias and a whole host of beautiful annual flowers.

This fusion of food and flower is the ultimate companion planting scheme which fools any pests who dare to enter the garden. Even our salad plants are multi-purpose; some will be picked for freshly made salads and some will be allowed to flower and produce the most amazing architectural shapes, such as curly green spires or leafy burgundy columns.

The most exciting thing is that every year the planting is different.'