A number of different gardens have been created within the 11 acres at Pashley; the herbaceous borders, resplendent in hot reds, yellows and oranges, meet you on entering the gardens.
Take a stroll between the espaliered pear trees and vine covered arches, past the rose garden, toward the rich blues and purples that surround the pool outside the Victorian green house, then, onto the cool creams and greens of the beds by the eastern side of the house.
Pause on one of the many benches to admire the views – many of which are enhanced by the sculpture exhibited around the gardens from April to September. Or relax with refreshments in the Garden Room Café and enjoy locally sourced and homemade food while surrounded by botanical inspired paintings from local artists.
At the back of the Manor house, which is covered in a magnificent wisteria, café tables are set out along the terrace with a beautiful view of fine old trees, fountains, springs and large ponds – an ideal setting to enjoy delicious cakes, light lunches, fine wines, teas and coffees served from the Garden Room Café.
In spring every garden is special – a time of hope, renewal and excitement, and Pashley is no exception.
The gardens burgeon with the delicate tints of early spring as snowdrops and creamy white and yellow daffodils line the driveway to the Tudor front of the house.
Each year, more bulbs and special shrubs are added.
The peaceful water comes into its own surrounded by the fresh new greenery of the trees, and the weeping willow dips the tips of its branches into the water of the top pond.
A sure sign that hibernation is over is the magnolia coming into flower with its huge rosy buds developing into cream and pink flowers.
In mid to late April the fragrant bluebell walk awakens, enticing the visitor to stroll down the valley by the little stream edged with vibrant blue.
At the same time the magnificent display of tulips begins with the spring highlight being our Tulip Festival.
With the passing of the spring into early summer, the tulips fade and the roses and summer flowering shrubs quickly take over.
An annual sensation is the magnificent wisteria, whose soft purple pendant flower almost completely masks the Georgian brickwork of the South West front.
The roses, at their best for our Special Rose Week event, are colour themed throughout the garden.
They are interplanted with cream foxgloves, lilies, lavenders and other complementary plants. Delphiniums are plentiful and new specimens are regularly introduced
At this time of year the views across the Sussex countryside are particularly delightful and uplifting.
In high summer the ancient Kitchen Garden, now laid out as a potager, hidden within its soft pink brick walls, is full of fresh produce and flowers that supply the café and feed the house.
Many different types of lettuce and salad jostle for space with parsley, chives, coriander and other herbs, while courgettes, peas, beans, cabbage, carrots and radish cohabit with soft fruit which make visitors gasp with envy.
French Globe artichokes grow at the base of the south facing wall and scented and colourful sweet peas grown on tall bamboo pyramids, flourish at each corner of the garden.
Pashley is blessed with many large, old trees, including the light leaved Aspen poplars on the island and several very old English oak and beech trees.
In late summer and autumn Pashley maintains its riot of colour mixed with the careful composed shape and form of the trees and shrubs.
The Rose Walk with its soft second flowering and luxuriant underplanting leads to the pièce de résistance of Pashley’s late summer season, the ‘Hot’ herbaceous borders.
These were designed and planted under the guidance of the late Anthony du Gard Pasley in 1998/99 and are continually being updated and improved. Wrought iron pyramids are positioned down the long borders and planted with special clematis and dark sweet peas; collections of dark red and crimson penstemon compete with species of dahlia, sedum, lilies and many other plants.
From late August onwards the gardens are full of gorgeous displays of dahlias – at their peak during the Dahlia Days event.
Pass on through the herbaceous borders and you will find a compact selection of fruit trees presented to us by The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers in June 2000 to celebrate the Garden of the Year Award.
The trees planted include medlars, quinces and plums, all specimens of varieties which were in existence in the 17th Century or earlier, which Pashley’s cook uses to make jellies and sauces for sale in the Gift Shop.
Winter is a very busy time of year in the Pashley Gardens.
The nominal peace achieved by the snowfalls is very deceptive. Masses of reconstruction and repair work goes on. Paths, fences, lawns, edges and hedges are renovated.
In the woodland garden and walks skilful tree reshaping and pruning is done.
Major replanting and new planning schemes are carried out.
Most important – every November and December, as soon as the flower beds are cleared, the ground is mulched with tons of manure and then prepared for the 35,000 tulip bulbs that are planted, late enough to prevent them sprouting too soon and early enough to beat any really hard weather, when the ground becomes unworkable.