Date: Sunday 10 September 2017, 11.00am – 4.00pm
For one day only Glyndebourne is opening its gardens outside of the opera season. Visitors are warmly invited to explore the extensive grounds at their leisure with a picnic on the lawns and a stroll around the lake. There will also be an opportunity to put your questions to the Glyndebourne gardeners and to take a peek inside the auditorium where the on-stage action happens.
‘The graciousness of civilisation here surely touches a peak where the arts of music, architecture and gardening combine…’
Vita Sackville-West, novelist, poet and gardener, on the Glyndebourne garden, 1952
Follow the sculpture trail and spot works by Henry Moore, Nick Hornby, Rachel Kneebone, Nic Fiddian-Green and several homages to the Glyndebourne pugs. Ask our gardening team any burning questions at our gardener’s questions sessions in the Organ Room. Treat yourself to afternoon tea or a light lunch in our Mildmay restaurant or drinks at the Long Bar. Browse the shop and stalls gallery for souvenirs that reflect the creativity of the gardens and world-class opera. A local nursery will also be selling plants on the day.
There is ample free parking on site or you can walk from Lewes via the Downs, see our walking guide for how to get here.
‘No other opera house has a garden for its foyer.’
The gardens incorporate manicured lawns (inaccessible to the neighbouring sheep thanks to the ha-ha), vibrant borders, a kitchen garden, a formal rose garden and a wilder area featuring a lake and meadows beyond. The Glyndebourne gardens are a joy to explore with ‘jaw-dropping views of its farmland and the South Downs beyond.’ The Daily Telegraph
‘I love to walk around the lake – there are always new wild flowers and wildlife; the occasional kingfisher, calling buzzards, woodpeckers and carp playing in the lake – to deflect the cares of everyday life.’
Gus Christie, grandson of Glyndebourne Festival founder John Christie and Audrey Mildmay, and Executive Chairman.
Head gardener Kevin Martin, who has been at Glyndebourne for 25 years, recommends the following highlights for September:
‘My favourite parts of the garden vary over the year. The Bourne Garden is my favourite in late summer – it continues to grow until September, with late flowering plants such as Salvias, Dahlias, Asters and Helianthus. Plants to look out for during your visit include Tithonia rotundifolia ‘torch’, Persicaria orientalis, Salvia elegans and Salvia confertiflora to mention a few.’
Here’s what our Festival 2017 audiences have been saying:
‘the gardens are absolutely stunning throughout and an absolute delight year after year.’
‘Delightful mixed borders by the terrace – and the rose garden is a delight’
‘The gardens speak for themselves. Just magnificent.’
‘The gardens are spectacular, and the changes (such as the maturing rose garden, the new pond in front of the Moore) are managed with great sensitivity. A delight.’
Discover the magic of the Glyndebourne gardens at this special one-off event.
The Glyndebourne gardens are private property and are usually only open to opera ticket bookers. Guests are welcome to take photos in the garden but we kindly ask visitors to respect the gardens and to take all litter home.
Most of the gardens are accessible and access parking is available.
Assistance animals are welcome. Find out more about accessibility
Food and drink
Light refreshments will be available from Mildmay throughout the day. Tables in Mildmay are not pre-bookable.
The gardens will remain open in the event of wet weather, it is recommended guests bring appropriate clothing and footwear.
Children must be accompanied at all times.
The £10 fee will cover the costs of the event and any surplus will go towards the Glyndebourne Garden Fund.
Tickets are non-refundable.