nature style 21st century garden - modern, wild, scenic


Fairlight End is a nature style 21st century garden. 

It’s set in the Sussex Weald, yet only a mile from the sea. The site is windswept, steeply sloping and has great views out across the countryside.

The 3 acre garden contains extensive wild flower meadows with mown paths, an orchard, a hazel coppice, and 2 natural ponds. There is a model kitchen garden with 30 raised beds. 

Near to the house, Ian Kitson has designed a split level garden with corten steel wall and plant supports, herbaceous planting, decking, all around an ancient cherry tree; a hanging garden where 2 sets of steps lead from the house to the meadows below; and a winter garden intersected by a sinuous corten steel wall.

All the steel features in the garden were made in a foundry 7 miles away. The corten looks great set against the brick and tile features of the house. It is unshrinkingly modern yet it recognises that, centuries ago, the Sussex Weald was alive to the sights and sounds of iron working.

Informally clipped groups of hornbeam, hawthorn, holly, pine and yew are scattered through the garden, their shapes reflecting those of hedgerows and tree canopies in the borrowed landscape beyond the garden.

Fairlight End received a 2015 Award from the Sussex Heritage Trust. The judges’ citation commented: ‘A thoughtful and beautiful integration of the countryside and garden landscape with contemporary elements, such as steel borders, in an infinity style. Sculptural pieces complement the listed house and act as plant supports. Old character trees add a timeless feel to the new plantings.’