Borde Hill Garden Book

New for 2022: Borde Hill Garden – A Plant Hunter’s Paradise

The first book devoted to one of Britain’s great heritage gardens, which has belonged to four generations of the Stephenson Clarke family.

About the book

Renowned for its magnificent collections of trees and flowering shrubs from across the world, Borde Hill is one of Britain’s great heritage gardens. This beautiful new book is the first to tell the story of this spectacular garden, explaining its botanical importance as a living link with the golden era of plant hunting and horticultural derring-do, and taking the reader on a wonderfully immersive illustrated tour.

Set in historic parkland in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in West Sussex, Borde Hill’s Elizabethan mansion and gardens have belonged to four generations of the same family since being bought by Colonel Stephenson Robert Clarke (‘Stephie’) in 1893. In the first section of the book – ‘The History’ – Vanessa Berridge draws on her exclusive access to the family archive of photographs, meticulous notes and letters to explain how Stephie set about creating this remarkable garden and woodland.

Stephie’s extensive correspondence with nurserymen, directors of botanical gardens and plant hunters gives a unique insight into the horticultural world of the time. It reveals acts of courage by such famed plant explorers as Ernest Wilson and George Forrest and the professional level of accomplishment needed to bring back – and nurture – plants and trees from the far reaches of the globe.

Illustrated by the glorious photography of John Glover, the second part of the book leads the reader around Borde Hill, taking in everything from the Old Rhododendron Garden to Jay Robin’s Rose Garden, Paradise Walk and the Azalea Ring. Featuring many plant species found nowhere else in Britain, and woods with one of the country’s largest privately owned collections of rare trees, Borde Hill offers visitors the world in one garden.

With a foreword by leading garden writer and plantsman Stephen Lacey, this engaging book is a fitting celebration of one of the country’s most important gardens. It concludes with information on Borde Hill’s numerous historic plants, its champion trees and its many RHS Awards of Merit.

About the Author

Vanessa Berridge is a garden historian and former magazine editor. Her books include Kiftsgate Court Gardens, The Garden Media Guild’s 2019 Garden Book of the Year.

Stephen Lacey is a garden writer, lecturer, broadcaster, and plantsman. He is a long-standing columnist and features writer for the Daily Telegraph, and contributes to many other publications, including House & Garden, The Garden, and Horticulture magazines. His books include The Startling Jungle: Colour and Scent in the Romantic Garden (1986), Real Gardening (2002), The RHS Companion to Scented Plants (2014), and Gardens of the National Trust (rev. edn, 2016).

John Glover has been a garden and landscape photographer for more than 40 years and is the winner of numerous awards.


  • Price: £40.00 (including Garden Day Admission for 1 Adult)
  • Or £35.00 for the book without Garden Admission
  • Publisher: ‎ Merrell (28 April 2022)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Hardcover: ‎ 208 pages
  • Size: 29 x 25 cm, 300 illustrations, 1 map
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 1858946905 / ISBN-13: ‎ 978-185894690

The book is available to purchase from the Garden Gift Shop.

Online orders will be available for collection from the Gift Shop during normal Garden opening hours. If you would like the book sent to you directly, please contact us at for a postage quote.