Ketches Lane, Freshfield,
nr Sheffield Park,
Opening dates and times:Thur 13, Sun 23, Sun 30 June, Sun 7 July (2-6)
Groups of 20+ also welcome by appt June to July
Admission:Adm £5, chd free
Description:3 acres with over 600 roses, 150ft herbaceous border, walled herb garden, ornamental grasses, ancient hollow oak, orchard and potager. 'Green' Priory Church and Cloisters. C17 Sussex farmhouse (not open)
In the press:Featured in Countryside and Gardens Illustrated
Further details:Although a few elements existed in 1990, much of the structure and most of the planting has been put in since then. Thus the garden is relatively young. The garden and orchard cover about 3¼ acres (1.3 ha) and originally consisted of a very large expanse of lawn with a few planted beds, plus a shrubbery and the sunken rose garden. The present design still has a large central lawn but there are now a number of distinct areas or gardens that surround it. These areas are described in turn below.
East Lawn – defined by the building of the sandstone wall in early 2000. The wall climbers by the entrance include Solanum jasminoides ‘Album’, Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’, Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’ and Cytisus battandieri (Pineapple broom). The rose is ‘Golden Showers’.
The Short Border – a pair of mixed borders with a blue-yellow colour scheme.
Sunken Rose Garden – is pre-war in origin and was replanted in 2005 with English roses. The two beds contain over 150 plants. The pergola that surrounds the rose garden has the following ramblers: Rosa ‘Albertine’, Rosa ‘Chaplin’s Pink’ and Rosa ‘American Pillar’.
The Long Border – a pair of herbaceous beds with a combined length of about 45 metres (150 feet) backed with a tapestry hedge. The colour scheme of the borders has purple as its key and flowering is mostly in July and August. The tapestry hedge has been damaged by Adelgids - Conifer Woolly Aphids. Twelve trees have been replaced.
Orchard – replanted since the ’87 hurricane. It is carpeted with daffodils in the spring. Specimen trees include Cercis ‘Forest Pansy’, Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree) and Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’ (Wedding-cake tree). There are several hives of bees.
Chequers ? The garden in front of the barn was made in the winter of 2002/3 and consists of gravel paths through beds block-planted with box. The garden is bounded by a line of Rosa ‘Excelsa’. Etoile de Hollande grows over the barn.
The Circus – was previously the shrubbery and was cleared and replanted in 2005/6. The new design includes shrubs, a small tree Sorbus vilmorinii, grasses, and yew topiary.
English Rose Garden –enlarged & replanted in 2001 with predominantly English Roses. The beds contain more than 400 roses of 47 different cultivars. A plan is in the summerhouse over which grows Rosa ‘Zephirine Drouhin’. The pergolas are planted with Rosa ‘Falstaff’, Rosa ‘Lady Sylvia’, Rosa ‘Mme. Butterfly’ and Rosa ‘Ophelia’.
The Spring Garden – This is an area beyond the English Rose Garden. Two lines of standard roses ‘Heritage’ are underplanted with hellebores and spring bulbs and flowers and there are many daffodils in the surrounding grass.
Potager – sited on the left of the hornbeam walk, it was started in 1995 and has a mixture of vegetables and flowers for cutting. The metal arches carry sweet peas and runner beans. There are two dahlia beds.
New Territories – incorporated into the garden in 2001. The principal feature is a hornbeam allée in the shape of a Romanesque church, Toune Priory. The adjoining cloisters have a centrally planted Sorbus vilmorinii. There is a border, ‘Priors Bank’, that has a mixture of grasses and late flowering perennials.
The Dell – was once a large farm pond. It features a very old hollow oak. The fishpond has been rebuilt using knapped flints.
Herb Garden – was started in 1992. There are four main beds, edged with box, containing a mixture of herbs and cottage garden plants. In addition there are two knot beds on either side of a Camomile path. The roses on the central arch are Rosa ‘Mme. Alfred Carriere’.
The earliest reference to Town Place is in a Court Roll for 1531 although references to an earlier farm or settlement, Toune (from the Old English word tun), go back to 1288. The present house was built about 1650 and was ‘modernised’ in the 1920s.