‘A fabulous, magical place with, what’s to my mind, the finest collection of fruit trees anywhere in the country’, Toby Buckland, BBC2 Great British Garden Revival
The apple and pear collection at West Dean Gardens is housed within (and around) the recently restored Victorian Walled Garden. In its heyday, at the turn of the last century, this area would have been the furiously active ‘engine room’ for driving the whole of the extensive gardens operation.
The fruit collection features over 100 varieties of apple and 45 varieties of pears, including heritage varieties with links to West Sussex, such as Court Pendu Plait, Peasgood Nonsuch and Lemon Pippin, and many of them trained into exquisite traditional shapes and espaliers.
The espaliers retain their interesting shapes in the winter with the skeleton branches against bard brick walls…
…and pretty in the spring covered in blossom.
The pear tunnel and the espaliered apples and pears at the rear of the border give height and structure to the site in the early part of the year. In the summer months they are loaded with ripening fruit.
West Dean Gardens are open to the public throughout the year from 1 February to 21 December (2015). Check the web site for full details. www.westdean.org.uk/gardens.
West Dean Gardens, Nr Chichester are part of The Edward James Foundation. Charity No. 6689362.