Stunning Sussex garden to open to the public for the first time in six years this week

A beautiful garden spanning 1.5 acres will be open to the public on a weekly basis for the first-time on Wedmesday June 10.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 8:19 am

Bates Green Garden at Arlington, near to Hailsham is part of the 130-acre farm, which first came into the McCutchan family in 1921, having been part of the Michelham Priory Estate.

There will also be the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful Arlington Bluebell Walk Wood out of season, something never before offered to visitors.

John McCutchan’s late wife Carolyn started work on the Garden back in 1968. She was a self-taught keen plantswoman and created the most amazing colourful and tranquil garden, full of unusual plants and shrubs.

Bates Green Garden 2 SUS-210706-080852001

From 1988 she annually opened her garden under the National Garden Scheme (NGS) and for other charities.

Sadly 2015 was her last year, but now it is going to be open every Wednesday from June 9 until October 27.

Carolyn was ill for seven years before her death in December 2019, when her former student of 2002 and dear friend Emma Reece from Burgess Hill, came with her partner to offer their condolences to John.

Emma and John decided to start a project to restore Bates Green Garden back to its former glory.

Emma with part time help, keeps this garden looking absolutely fabulous, as it is a varied and diverse garden designed for colour all year round.

The adjoining five-acre conservation meadow has mown paths, so visitors can enjoy the many wildflowers until it is cut for hay in early August.

John said: “I am thrilled that Bates Green Garden will be open to the public every Wednesday between now and the end of October from 10am until 4pm.

“We have just enjoyed a lovely five weeks opening the Arlington Bluebell Walk, with a successful online booking system, which meant we could welcome around 12,000 visitors.

“Now Emma and I feel the time is right to open it to the public one day a week.

“My daughter Phillipa Vine, who owns Bluebell Farmhouse Kitchen (www.bluebellfarmhousekitchen.co.uk) will supply light lunches and refreshments. “Also, for the first time, we will be inviting visitors to walk around Beatons Wood - otherwise known as the Bluebell Walk - out of season.”

In 2002 Emma secured a one-year placement with Carolyn at Bates Green Garden.

She then went on to have an exciting career in the industry, primarily in the heritage sector, and she also taught at Plumpton and Chichester Colleges.

Emma said: “Bates Green Garden is typical of the English style of gardening. It is planted in a relaxed and naturalist way with self-seeders positively encouraged.

“The garden sits comfortably surrounded by fields and woods, and is always full of birdsong. “I am proud and delighted to be responsible for the restoration of this Plantswoman’s paradise, as sadly many areas had been neglected for a number of years.

“I was privileged to be taught by Carolyn and we become close friends, so it’s only right that we should celebrate Carolyn’s achievements by opening the garden on a regular basis.”

You have to book online to secure your ticket. Cost is £7 for adults and £3.50 for children. If you wish to also visit Beatons Wood, there is an additional charge of £5 for adults and £2.50 for children, so when you buy your ticket for the garden you have the choice of purchasing a combined ticket.

Go to www.batesgreengarden.co.uk to book your tickets. Bates Green Garden will also be open on other days for groups of 12 or more by appointment

Email: [email protected] Telephone: John McCutchan on 01323 485151. Instagram: @batesgreengarden.