Gardens and Estate

Fairlight Hall sit over looking the English Channel with views of the white cliffs of Dover to the east and over to the French coast to the south, in verdant gardens full of beautiful and interesting plants, with a number of trees and shrubs which are original planting to the house. The gardens are made up of many wonderfully diverse areas rich in colour , texture and has an adventurous use of plants, trees and shrubs, much of the garden has been improve since the early 2000’s whilst much of the gardens original layout remains.

We are thankful that there are a number of special plants remaining from the 19th century plantings,  specimens of Wellingtonia (Sequoia Dendron giganteum), Monkey Puzzle (Araucaria araucana), Rhododendron spp, along with a recently found Osmanthus.   By the late 1990s, the Gardens  had been over grown and overwhelmed in considerable areas of the pleasure gardens and woodland, and since 2002, when the current owners bought Fairlight Hall, a large percentage of  invasive species and thickets have been removed.   

Throughout the years there have been many improvements to the gardens, under the  direction of the current owners and the team, Fairlight Hall Gardens continues to up hold high horticultural standards at the same time being sympathetic  to the garden and it’s history. 

The grounds and surrounding 90-acre estate are Soil Association certified, and all vegetables, fruit and plants grown here comply with stringent Soil Association rules.

The Tropical Border

The Tropical borders are home to some marvellous exotic hardy and half hardy plants the main focus of the border is to make you feel as though you are in walking through an exotic walkway, which is achieved by the use of texture in the different types of foliage included in the border. The borders are home to some magnificent specimen plants which include a rather wonderful Pseudopanax laetus and the fantastic Butia capitata, whilst walking through the borders you will notice banana plants, gingers and the giant leaves of Gunnera. This area of the garden is a strong favorite of the estate and our visitors.

The Long Border

The Long Border is an original feature of the garden and can be seen in early historical photographs dating back to the 1800’s. The border measures around 100 meters long and contains a mix of shrubs and perennial plants, being widened and reshaped in 2006 to give it a better impact on the garden and enabled it to be noticed from gazing out from the upstairs rooms. Colour and texture is very important to this border with a hot and vivid floral pallet being used throughout, foliage is equally import to the border with the uses of golden yellow and variegated shrubs being used throughout.

The Ha-ha Border

This area of the garden gets it’s name from the large sandstone wall known as the Ha-ha that backs the border which originally separates the decorative garden from the wider estate and stops livestock from enjoying the horticultural delights of the garden. The border has been part of the garden for most of the gardens long life, with photographic evidence of the border going back to at least early 1900’s. The border has a pastel floral pallet using pinks, dusty blues and butter yellows and is at it’s best from May onwards, it is also enjoyed by the local wildlife with hummingbird hawk moths enjoying nectar from the flowers in the summer months along with a host of other fantastic butterflies and moths.

The Nursery, Russian Steppes and Walled Garden

The Nursery is used year to round supply the garden with plants, the area will be under renovation in 2020 and we hope to make some development with this area of the garden in future years.

The Russian Steps

A large landscaped area which steps down towards the walled garden, this area is and is home to a large pictorial meadow which uses a colourful mix of annuals including Escholzia californica( Californian poppy ), Corieopsi lanceolata (Tickseed) and Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower).Each side of the Russian Steps in home to wonderful mixed orchards of apple, pear and quince, with the centre being home to a wildlife pond.

Walled Garden

A jewel of the gardens at Fairlight hall is the magnificent walled garden designed by Susan Watson and winner of the Sussex Heritage Trust renovation 2009. The garden was an empty shell with crumbling walls when work began in 2006 to renovate the garden after renovations were finished in 2009 the walled garden is now home to an Amphitheatre , glasshouse, pond and fruit cage. This area of the garden is main function is to grow food for the house and the events that the estate holds, a large variety of fruits and vegetables are grown here from the everyday to the slightly unusual.

Glass House

In the walled garden you will find the Glasshouse another jewel in the garden which was given a brand new function and re-organised in 2018 by head gardener John Myers, John designed, three display beds in the glasshouse two in the central zone of the glasshouse being home to tropical plants such as Bromeliads, Vanda Orchids and Epiphyllum Cacti, other exotics such as Hibiscus schizopetalus, Brugmansia and a range of other exotic plants can be seen. In the North wing of the glasshouse the Fairlight Hall Cacti and Succulents are held along with the citrus collection with which we grow our own citrus fruit, in this wing spring flowering Jasmin can be seen which fills the glasshouse with it’s magical scent in February to March we also hold a small collect of Pelargonium. The south wing of the glasshouse is home to our propagation until and is where the majority of our seeds and cuttings are started for the garden before being moved to the nursery and other areas of the garden.

Become a Volunteer Today

At Fairlight Hall we offer a volunteer scheme so people can be involved in a variety of areas within the garden. Volunteers at Fairlight Hall will be able to experience one of the finest gardens in East Sussex which is rarely open to the public. 

Woodlands and Firewood

There are some 35 acres of mixed,  broadleaf native woodland, including extensive bluebell woods. The Woodland is also managed for firewood production and harvesting and from September 2015 we have offered a range of firewood for commercial and residential use.

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