Relax in the garden at Standen

Walking in the garden at Standen

Divided into many outdoor 'rooms', each with its own theme, colours, texture and detail, the 12 acre garden at Standen is almost entirely the creation of a self-taught gardener - Margaret Beale.

Garden Revival Project

Inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement, Mrs Beale developed her hillside garden so that it looked like a natural part of the High Weald landscape. Having recently been restored as part of a five year project, the Garden is at its best ever. Key areas include the Quarry Garden, which is where the stone for the house came from and the rosery, which has a pond, circular rose beds and a new wooden trellis built by garden volunteers.

Top terrace and Rock Top walk

After the 1987 hurricane a number of unsuitable and invasive plants were put in, but the top terrace has recently been replanted with 500 Scots pine and silver birch trees, restoring Margaret Beale's original outlook which reflects the wider landscape of Ashdown Forest. A contemporary artwork, Bothy, by Will Shannon has been commissioned, to continue to interpret the Arts and Crafts legacy.

Standen Bothy by Will Shannon looking over High Weald
Standen Bothy by Will Shannon looking over High Weald

The Kitchen Garden

Margaret Beale supplied her family and servants with a variety of fruit and vegetables from the kitchen garden. Recently extended, the kitchen garden now supplies the Barn Café with seasonal produce. There is also a barrow near the car park where you might find some seasonal produce you can take home with you.

A view of the house from the kitchen garden
Standen house through the kitchen garden

A rich and varied plant collection

Many of the acers in the collection are the original plants Margaret Beale introduced to the garden following her world tour to Japan in 1906-7, including Acer palmatum and Acer japonicum. Delicate leaves in lovely golden, red and green hues change colour throughout the seasons, but look particularly striking in the autumn months.

In late spring, Standen comes alive with vibrant colour, particularly around the Croquet Lawn and in Rhododendron Dell. Look out for varieties such as Rhododendron ‘Sappho', Rhododendron augustinii augustinii and Rhododendron luteum.

The Camellia Steps that run down the side of the Quarry Garden is the obvious place to head if you want to see a vivid splash of colour in the winter and spring months. Here you will find a varied collection of sweetly scented flowers, including our award winning Camellia japonica ‘Nobilissima’.

Acers at Standen in Autumn
Acers at Standen in the Autumn

Explore further afield

The wider estate includes ancient meadows and woodlands, with wildlife and flowers to be seen. Pick up a walk from reception, grab your wellies and head for Rockinghill or Hollybush woods, or perhaps down to Weirwood Reservoir.