The Garden Guide

Bates Green Garden

Bates Green Garden is 1.5 acre "English Garden" first created by Plantswoman Carolyn McCutchan in 1968. Following a period of neglect after Carolyn fell ill, the garden has been restored by one of her former students, Emma Reece.

Head Gardener's Comment

• The garden surrounds the farmhouse, which was originally a small gamekeeper’s cottage.
• The soil is neutral pH heavy Weald clay much improved with homemade compost.
• The garden has very distinct areas, which enable plants from different ecological conditions to thrive including a small pond to encourage wildlife.
• In the Woodland Garden spring bulbs abound followed by herbaceous woodlanders and hardy cyclamen.
• In the more formal shaped Middle Garden colour is the main theme, starting with tulips and alliums, and then herbaceous and woody plants take over until the autumn, when the garden displays exciting colour.
• Other beds flow with a good mixture of grasses and all manner of exciting plants to give colour, texture and movement.
• Bates Green is in a tranquil setting, surrounded by pastures grazed by sheep with views to the South Downs.
• The 6-acre wild flower meadow adjoining the garden contains a wealth of flora and fauna. It is traditionally managed with mown paths round it.
• The Winter Garden is positioned so that the low rays of sun make the most of the coloured leaves and stems of the many cornus, with bulbs and plants grown for interest from autumn through to spring.
• The garden is managed with wildlife in mind and is naturalistic with a relaxed feel
• The Millennium Avenue leading up to an ancient 24 acre ancient oak wood is a mass of early wild daffodils in February/March
• Beatons Wood opens every April/May for the Arlington Bluebell Walk
• Garden visitors can pay an extra charge to view Beatons Wood outside the Bluebell Walk period

Photograph © Bates Green Garden
Photograph © Bates Green Garden
Photograph © Bates Green Garden
Photograph © Bates Green Garden


• This 1.5 acre garden has been owned by the McCutchan family since 1921
• The garden developed and skilfully planted by Carolyn McCutchan when she moved to the property in 1968.
• The garden was renowned for its colourful imaginative planting and was featured in many magazines articles
• Since Carolyn’s death in 2019, the garden has been undergoing a period of restoration by a small team of gardeners led by Emma Reece who was a student of Carolyn’s in 2002.

Polegate, East Sussex, England, BN26 6SH

Every Wednesday 10.00am – 4.00pm 22nd February to 25th October 2023. Please book online especially for Feb – March visits owing to car parking issues. Open every day 10.00am to 5.00pm during the Arlington Bluebell Walk period mid-April to mid-May (see for exact dates)

£7.00 per adult: Children 3 – 16 years £3.50

Visit the Bates Green Garden website

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