National Garden Scheme : stunning snowdrops & spring flowers

Each year the National Garden Scheme starts the garden visiting season with its inspirational Snowdrop and Spring Flower gardens. Hundreds of gardens sprinkled with snowdrops – these delightful harbingers of spring – and wonderful, colour contrasting spring blooms including the bright gold of aconites and soft purple of crocus, open their gates to the public from late January through February and into March. 

“After the long, dark winter months, the appearance of these beautiful early spring flowers really lifts the spirits and heralds the start of all the wonderful gardens to come,” says National Garden Scheme Chief Executive, George Plumptre. “Year on year more and more people discover the joys of these late winter / early spring garden visits, many of which are accompanied by tea and cake.

Eight beautiful gardens open their gates in West Sussex in February and March, as part of this wonderful celebration of the new garden visiting season.  

Sunday 11th February : Sandhill Farm House Rogate  GU31 5HU

Refreshments: Home-made teas.
Admission Adult: £5.00 Child: Free
Opening times: 12:00 - 16:00

Thursday 15th February : Highdown Gardens Worthing BN12 6FB 
Admission By Donation
Opening times:10:00 - 16:30

Every Thursday from 8th February : The Old Vicarage Washington RH20 4AS 
Book your tickets in advance on the NGS website
Refreshments: Self-service light refreshments: Picnics welcome.
Admission Adult: £7.00 Child: Free
Opening times:10:00 - 17:00
Also open on other dates in April, May, June, August and by arrangement, see NGS website for details.

Sunday 18th February and Sunday 17th March : Manor of Dean Petworth GU28 9AP

Book your tickets in advance on the NGS Website or you can just turn up and pay on the day.
Refreshments Home-made teas.
Admission Adult: £5.00 Child: Free
Opening times:14:00 - 16:00
This garden opens for By Arrangement visits from 5 February to 14 June for groups of 20+.

Sunday 17th March : Denmans Garden Fontwell BN18 0SU
Pre-booking essential, please contact the garden owner (details within the Owner Info tab on the NGS Website) to book.
Refreshments: Light refreshments.
Admission Adult: £9.00 Child: £7.00
Opening times: 11:00 - 16:00

Saturday 23rd March and Sunday 24th March : Downs Place, South Harting GU31 5PN
Book your tickets in advance on the NGS Website or you can just turn up and pay on the day.
Refreshments: Home-made teas & cream teas.
Admission Adult: £5.00 Child: Free
Opening times:13:30 - 17:30
Also open By Arrangement from 2nd January for group of 15+

Friday 29th March : Judy’s Cottage Garden Worthing BN13 2AE 
Book your tickets in advance on the NGS Website or you can just turn up and pay on the day.
Refreshments: Home-made teas.
Admission Adult: £5.00 Child: Free
Opening times: 10:30 - 15:30

New for 2024

Thursday 29th February and Tuesday 5th March : Crossland Flower Nursery Walberton BN18 0AX 
A 2hr all access tour of a fourth generation, award-winning, sustainably run flower nursery with 3 acres of glasshouses filled to the brim with Sussex grown alstroemeria. There will be an opportunity to purchase flowers at the end of the tour.
For this open day you need to pre-book your ticket in advance on the NGS Website
Refreshments: Tea
Admission Adult: £10.00 Child: Free
Opening times: 10:00 - 12:00

About the National Garden Scheme

The National Garden Scheme was founded in 1927 by The Queen’s Nursing Institute to raise money for district nurses. Ever since then it has given annual donations to nursing and health charities totalling over £67 million. It gives visitors unique, affordable access to over 3,500 exceptional private gardens in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands and raises impressive amounts through admission charges and the sale of tea and cake.

Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors we are now the most significant charitable funder of nursing in the UK. As well as the Queen’s Nursing Institute, our beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and Parkinson’s UK.

The National Garden Scheme doesn’t just open beautiful gardens for charity – we are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens too. We fund projects which promote gardens and gardening as therapy, and in 2016 commissioned The Kings Fund report Gardens and Health Our Gardens and Coronavirus 2020: The importance of gardens and outdoor spaces during lockdown report was published in September 2020.

Visit for more information about the work of the National Garden Scheme, to search for gardens opening in your area, to find out how to open your own garden and and for more details about the gardens listed above.

By Kate Harrison West Sussex National Garden Scheme Publicity Officer