The glory of the garden at Bateman’s

A garden of flowers

Len Bernamont, Head Gardener at Bateman's, Rudyard Kipling's home in East Sussex gives us his garden highlights.

A garden for family and friends

'Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees

That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,

So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray

For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!' said Rudyard Kipling in his iconic poem, inspired in part by his own efforts to create a garden for his children to play in and his family and friends to enjoy.

Here at Bateman's we're continuing the work ethic extolled by the world famous author so that our modern day visitors can experience this garden much as it would have been.

Garden and Estate Highlights

A Fusion of Food & Flower

Don't miss our annual display of flowers and vegetables in the Mulberry Garden. A multitude of colours and scents, both beautiful and productive; you can taste the fruits of our labours in the Mulberry tea room.

Orchard Harvest

The first of our orchard fruits are usually ready to pick at the end of the summer. Look out for plums, gages and damsons on the trees. 

Once harvested these are put out for sale on our produce stall by the Oast gift shop. You'll also find early apple varities such as Devonshire Quarrenden, Worcester Pearmain and Laxton's Fortune.

The hay meadow

Once the hay has been cut, our farmer's Limousin cattle can be seen happily grazing on the new flush of grass. We have several walks that you can take to follow in Kipling's footsteps.

We hope you get as much inspiration from exploring the beautiful Sussex landscapes around Bateman's as Kipling did. 

Dig for victory

Our vegetable garden is a remnant from the Second World War when much of this part of the garden was dug over and made productive to feed hungry mouths.

Nowadays it's hungry visitors who can enjoy our bountiful harvest. We send as much as we can to the tea room but there's often a glut so look out for our produce stall by the shop for some fresh bargains.

We also sell a selection of home-grown plants reflecting the plants you can find in the garden and, of course, as autumn approaches there's the promise of plums, apples and pears from our orchard.

Kipling’s kitchen garden

We believe the mulberry garden was the productive as well as ornamental area of the garden during Kipling's time.  Being a walled garden provides the perfect opportunity to grow all kinds of wall-trained plants and a fusion of vegetables, salad and flowers.

Each year we experiment with different plant groupings; tomatoes competing with Morning Glory as they clamber up our rustic obelisks, sweetcorn ripening amidst giant sunflower heads or leaf salad left to produce architectural flower heads.

Formality and nature

The lily pond and rose garden, designed by Kipling after being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature are the epitome of formality but Kipling’s impish humour, like Puck’s, shines through with references in the visitor book to anyone who fell in the pond '(FIP)' next to their name.
Take our replica boat out on the pond but heed Kipling’s warning about falling in. And here, Kipling’s love of the countryside he settled in can be seen all around with a dazzling array of dragonflies and damselflies skimming over the pond, the wild garden and the mill pond. In summer, as well as the more exotic Skunk Cabbage and Gunnera manicata, the wild garden is full of native wild flower species, a natural corridor between the garden and estate beyond.

No labels here

Kipling’s garden was a place of peace and sanctuary away from his many adoring fans. Bateman’s was always meant to be a family garden, so, in keeping with the spirit of Kipling we do not label many of our plants as we feel this can detract from the overall presentation but we are more than happy to answer you plant queries. If you cannot find a member of the garden team during your visit we invite you to email us. Make a note of where you saw the plant, give a brief description or send us a photo and we’ll reply with an answer as soon as we can.