Take some time out in a beautiful haven designed by the 'father of the modern garden' and linger over lunch or a cream tea
This intimate and romantic garden is a true hidden gem, tucked away in the foothills of the South Downs deep in the glorious Sussex countryside.
The four acres that make up Denmans today were once a market garden. Plantswoman and author Joyce Robinson, whose life was as rich and fascinating as Denmans itself, converted it into a formal contemporary garden. Her dedication was enduring – at the ripe young age of 75 she decided to add two dry riverbeds to the garden. They can still be enjoyed today.
But it’s legendary garden designer John Brookes MBE with which Denmans is most closely associated. The garden was his home, hobby and teaching space until his death in 2018. It’s now run by a trust in his name and continues to be renovated in line with his vision.
The range and diversity of plants at Denmans is breathtaking, and its trustees are still discovering new secrets from rare roses (there are more than 50 different roses alone in the gardens) to unexpected additions in the Victorian glasshouses.
Horticultural types will recognise Brookes’ name instantly. One of the world’s most influential garden designers, he was the first independent designer to create an exhibition garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.
This is very much a living piece of history, and the garden is a rich tapestry of stories woven together by gravel courtyards, a walled garden, Joyce’s cottage and gloriously tranquil glasshouses.
It’s open year round (except Mondays) and is mostly wheelchair/buggy accessible. The tea room is currently closed due to Covid-19, but the garden shop is open and plants propagated and grown on-site can be bought from the plant centre.
You’ll find Denmans next door to Fontwell Racecourse between Chichester and Arundel (and reachable by taxi from Barnham station).
Denmans Garden, Denmans Lane, Fontwell, Arundel, BN18 0SU