Ramster is even closer to home than Woolbeding and I have often driven or cycled past and thought that I must visit. The gardens were laid out in 1890 by local nursery Gauntletts of Chiddingfold, to showcase their imports of plants and garden ornaments from Japan. In 1922 Ramster was bought by Sir Henry and Lady Norman and is still in the ownership of the same family.
The terrain and soil type are ideal for the rhododendrons, azaleas, acers and flowering shrubs which are laid out in a naturalistic woodland. Lady Norman added to the original plantings with plants grown from seed brought back by plant collectors and creating her own Rhododendron crosses.
Lady Norman’s granddaughter, Miranda Gunn, took us around the garden giving us a personal view of growing up here and now watching her grandchildren enjoying the same pleasures.
A selection of plants in the garden.
One of the original Japanese garden ornaments
Remnants of a tree felled by a mini tornado which swept through the woods last year.
Miranda gave us an inspiring tour of the garden and her knowledge of the plants is encyclopaedic.
The garden is open from early April to late June and although it’s taken me a long time to visit for the first time it’s going to become a regular.