Previously a market garden, and derelict for many years, the very large garden behind their Brighton home was completely overgrown and full of junk when Bridgette and partner Graham bought it nearly 20 years ago. Since then its restoration into a working and inspirational garden has been a true labour of love and it is filled to the brim with an ever-changing scene of trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, bulbs and vegetables.
“Just occasionally you step into a garden full of magic and you’re overtaken by its spirit. Bridgette’s garden inspires and entrances, it’s full of energy and life, it’s irresistible.” Carol Klein
Bridgette and Deborah met around the same time through a shared love of practical gardening, craft and design, horticulture and travel – and a passion for teaching and passing on their considerable horticultural and garden design experience and inspirations. Gradually over the following years they developed The Garden House as a way to make connections with both beginners and more experienced gardeners, inspiring people to develop their own gardens, however large or small, and showing them ‘what to do, and when’.
In 2009 the Garden House itself was built – a beautiful large wooden garden studio nestled in among the trees. It is a large space ideal for comfortably holding a wide variety of courses and workshops for up to 25 people all year round (warmed in winter by a wonderfully cosy wood-burning stove). It is also a space that can be rented out to local organizations, or which individuals can hire as a ‘pop up’ dinner venue.
The Garden House opens several times each year for charity – in support of local charities, and as part of the National Garden Scheme www.ngs.org.uk
Workshops, courses and travel are central to The Garden House calendar. Over the years, garden-inspired trips have been arranged to places as far afield as Japan (three years running), South Africa, the Netherlands and Madeira – and as local as Ireland, Shropshire, and Norfolk! Even the hidden private gardens of Sussex are often on the agenda.