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The garden at Standen

A winters view from the summerhouse over Weirwood reservoir and Ashdown Forest
A winters view from the summerhouse over Weirwood reservoir and Ashdown Forest | © National Trust / Roger Bloxham

Explore 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, who was inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement.

Winter garden highlights

Winter in the garden at Standen is a special time, the winter-flowering camellias bloom through the coldest weather and hollies with red, orange, yellow and white berries add a festive theme. The quarry has snowdrops, snowflakes and crocus and on the Top Terrace there's a beautiful display of winter heathers. At the top of the garden there are outstanding views across the unspoilt High Weald.

Explore Standen’s garden rooms

Goose Green

Any visit to the garden must start and end at Goose Green, the heart of the garden for a century and more. Three large plane trees dominate this space, surrounded on each side by domestic and rural features – the Kitchen Garden, the old farm buildings, the servants' wing of the house and the medieval farmhouse on a small rise above. Once home to geese, cows and horses, it is now a wonderful place to relax and enjoy these most beautiful of surroundings.

A path with heather on one side and a low wall on the other on the Top Terrace at Standen House and Garden, West Sussex
The Top Terrace at Standen House and Garden, West Sussex | © National Trust Images/John Miller

The house terrace and Quarry Garden

Around the house itself is where Margaret showed her real passion for plants, the rarest, most showy and those that were most special to her were planted within a few yards of the door to the garden from the conservatory.

Only the most privileged guests were allowed into this area, which includes the shady and surprising Quarry Garden. It’s so close to the house itself but feels a lifetime away.

Top terrace and rock top walk

The Upper Garden once thickly wooded lost many trees in the Great Storm of 1987, but their replacements, now approaching over 30 years in age, are quickly reclothing the hillside with colours, shapes, textures, scents and sounds.

Here you'll find the most spectacular views across the Medway Valley to Ashdown Forest – virtually unspoiled by any development, save for the 1950s Weir Wood Reservoir, which meanders through the landscape like a river, and is now a well-established part of the scenery.

Further round you’ll find the Bothy, built in 2017 in an area of garden lost for decades to scrub. It too boasts fine views towards the tower of East Grinstead Church and into the intimate landscape of the High Weald.

Family fun

The lower garden is where the family had fun: the Croquet Lawn was – and is – a place for sitting and games.

The Rosery, so recently lost to invasive bamboo, is currently being restored and is the site of the swimming pond where the Beale children used to learn to swim.

The Kitchen Garden

Nearby is the orchard, home to hives of honeybees and many old varieties of apple. Here the grass is left to grow long, allowing wildflowers to flourish including delicate orchids and the diminutive yellow rattle.

The Kitchen Garden is close to the house and originally nearly three acres, almost a quarter of the whole garden. Recently brought back into production after quite some time as private gardens, it's full of a wide range of tasty crops that are supplied to the café throughout the year.

Visitors in the gardens of Standen House, West Sussex

Discover more at Standen House and Garden

Find out when Standen House and Garden is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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