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Two fabulous flower-powered events for garden & design lovers

Gardens galore and retro florals: it's the summer of blooms, baby, and we're spending it at two of our favourite local National Trust properties. Here's why you should too.

Whether you’re a green-fingered guru or proprietor of neglected house plants, who doesn’t love a potter round a National Trust property? It might be a moment of peace you’re after, a trip with a friend, or inspo for your grand garden and interiors ambitions, but it’s always a gorgeous day out.

And with two very different NT experiences open and ready for the summer season offering a whole feast of floral-themed entertainment, you’d better have that Pinterest board at the ready.


Known for its woodlands, walled garden and vast borders, Nymans in West Sussex is one of our favourite spots for enjoying a garden’s changing seasons, and right now it’s all about the wisteria, magnolias and rhododendrons.

You can explore it yourself or there are garden tours every day at 11am and 2pm, which include Nymans’ famous wisteria collection – at their best now and into early June. The double summer borders also come into their own around this time too, as the Nymans team plants around 5,000 new annuals to add bold and vibrant colour.

Fancy a floral memento? Nymans’ artist-in-residence John Thompson holds painting workshops in a cosy potting shed, offering classes on how to paint everything from meadow flowers to floral borders – so you won’t have to walk far. The classes cost £80 and you’ll need to pre-book – a new skill for the Summer, perhaps?


From blossoms in bloom to floral wallpaper, retro is officially back in fashion, and there’s no better place to embrace the nostalgia than Standen House and Garden‘s 70s-inspired event Flower Power. We already loved this Arts and Crafts family home for its chic Morris & Co. interiors and sprawling, flower-filled gardens, and quirky approach (see space hopper, above!), but from 4 June Standen will be seriously upping its IG potential as it celebrates 50 years with the National Trust with a Morris overload.

Photographer: James Dobson

The dedicated 70s-inspired room created by Morris & Co. features the ground-breaking Sanderson Triad collection of fabrics and wallpapers (just check out those incredible florals!). There’s also a contemporary design space set up by Morris & Co. to give the stage to interior designers who’ll discuss how William Morris’ designs still inspire them today.

As well as retro decor, there’s activities for all ages, from the dining room set up for a fondue party (remember those?) to hands-on fuzzy felts and 70s games in the billiards room to keep the kids occupied.

Photographer: Antony Crolla

Head upstairs to play dress-up with 70s fashion complete with selfie station (didn’t have those back then!), and enjoy a full-on nostalgia-fest with books, toiletries and music all from the era.

Speaking of music, every Sunday from July through August, there’ll be live retro bands playing on the terrace – nab a deck chair on the lawn and enjoy, or grab a nibble from the 70s-inspired menu at the cafe (cheese and pineapple anyone?) while the kids play on Space Hoppers on Goose Green. We also hear on the grapevine that there’ll be themed family craft activities too, so watch this space.

Sound like the perfect summer day out? Catch Flower Power from Saturday 4 June – Sunday 30 October, 10am – 5pm.

Standen House and Garden, West Hoathly Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 4NE and Nymans, Handcross, near Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 6EB.

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