The concept of artists’ gardens can be interpreted in many ways, especially as the creation of all gardens can be considered an art form. For this tour, we’re homing in on gardens that have been owned or created by many different artists, examining how these gardens play a role in the artist’s work. We’ll visit Monk’s House, where Virginia Woolf penned many of her novels in the garden writing lodge, and nearby Charleston, the country home of her painter sister Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, where the Bloomsbury Group gathered and found inspiration in its beautiful gardens. We also visit the gardens of contemporary artists, including Balmoral Cottage, where we’ll discover how Charlotte Molesworth’s topiary work has influenced her paintings; Fairlight End with its wildflower meadows that provide Robin Hutt with the plant material for her extraordinary photographs; and Sussex Prairie Garden where boldly planted swathes of perennials are interspersed with modern sculptures.

Our base throughout the tour will be Ockenden Manor Hotel, a charming and tranquil Elizabethan Manor House that offers good food and warm hospitality, as well as a new spa and swimming pool.

Booking details

Tour dates 30 May – 2 June 2023

The tour will be hosted and led by garden historian and garden designer Marion Mako along with horticulturist and specialist in historic gardens Sophie Piebenga.

Booking details Price per person, based on two people sharing, is £3,250 (a single supplement of £190 is levied by the hotel). The price includes three nights’ dinner (with wine), bed and breakfast accommodation at Ockenden Manor, plus four lunches as stated in the itinerary and transport from Haywards Heath railway station. Please note that Boxwood Tours uses hotels of character featuring a variety of rooms and styles. The price does not include extras at the hotel, or travel insurance. For more details and for an in-depth itinerary with details of day-to-day visits, meals, etc, please contact Boxwood Tours.

To express an interest or to book please contact Boxwood Tours, 1 West Street, Buckingham HK18 1HL, UK. Tel +44 (0)1341 241717. Email Website

The tour has been arranged exclusively for readers of Gardens Illustrated by Boxwood Tours Quality Garden Holidays, a specialist garden tour company set up in 1990. Please note that itineraries may be subject to change for reasons beyond Gardens Illustrated’s control. The tour is financially protected by the ATOL scheme. Please see booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go