Magnifificent Magnolias and Hetty’s Easter Adventure at Borde Hill

Borde Hill Garden, near Haywards Heath in West Sussex, is home to a truly impressive collection of magnolias. Some, collected by the Great Plant Collectors in the 1900s, are now 90 -100 years old and many have established so well that they have become ‘champion’ trees, and are either the tallest or have the largest girth in Britain and Ireland.

In addition, it’s now four years since the fabulous Gardiner’s Grove meadow was planted with 48 new magnolia trees sourced by Jim Gardiner, Vice President of the Royal Horticultural Society, and all are now maturing beautifully. They are collections of hybrids of Magnolia acuminata (from America) and Magnolia sprengeri (from China), and between them they demonstrate the diversity of this amazing plant, as well as the influence of Magnolia sprengeri on modern magnolia hybrids.

Magnolias are early this year and started flowering from 1st of March, with M campbellii over 60 foot high and M sprengeri var diva, in flower.

On 5th April, visitors have a unique opportunity to find out more about our magnolias with an hour-long Guided Magnolia Tour led by Harry Baldwin, Borde Hill’s new and enthusiastic Head of Horticulture, who will highlight the most magnificent of the magnolias and bring to life the story of their origins. Harry, who was previously Taxonomist and Dendrologist of the Arboretum at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew,

will also explain how the future of Borde Hill’s historic tree and shrub collection will continue to develop into the 21st century.

Andrew John Stephenson Clarke, current family owner of Borde Hill says, “We are delighted to be sharing our impressive collection of magnolias with visitors both local and those who travel from around the world to enjoy our rare plants and trees, and we are working hard to protect the collection for generations to come.”


This Easter holiday spend time together as a family for fun and nature-filled discoveries at Borde Hill Garden. Spot the signs of spring while exploring the Garden on an Easter-themed trail. Hetty the hen has lost her chicks and we need to find them in time for the Easter Parade. Follow the story trail around the Garden, reading about some of the hens and roosters who live at Borde Hill and discover what happened to the missing chicks. At the end of the trail tell the farmer your imaginary chicken name to receive a delicious treat.

Fuel up for your adventures with a delicious Easter-themed snack from the Gardeners’ Retreat Café, or let off steam in the Adventure Playground.

Spring is also a magical time to explore the Garden and Woodland, with an abundance of flowering camellias, hellebores, daffodils and rhododendrons. Picnics and dogs on leads welcome.

Tickets (Pre-booking is required for this event) £3 per trail, plus admission to include a prize (FREE to Members) Garden admission: must be pre-booked for all adults and children in your party, apart from children under 3 who are free.

Easter Trails: need to be pre-booked for all children wanting to complete the trail, including under 3, as there is a prize. Adults do not need to book a trail, unless you want to receive a prize.

For more information and a full list of upcoming events visit: