For twenty years Jean and Steve Jackman have been gardening organically in their beautiful home at the foot of the South Downs near Pulborough.
Jean uses an idiosyncratic mix of cultivated plant specimens and British native flowers, but always encouraging nature in all its forms.
During the whole of July, the garden will be open in support of The Sussex Wildlife Trust.
Jean said: “We have lived in our house for 20 years and have gardened completely organically all that time. Our acre of garden is planted to attract wildlife.
“We see and hear creatures such as deer rutting in Autumn, kites and buzzards overhead, hornets nesting, badgers, goldcrests, marsh tits, warblers, tree-creepers, nuthatches, snakes, slow-worms, frogs and toads, bats, house-martins (who nest in artificial RSPB nests), weasels and have a resident tawny owl using a home-made owl nesting box regularly, as well as more usual birds and animals.
“I don’t tidy the garden until March when everything is cut into small pieces and left as a mulch on the border. Seedheads and hollow stems are left overwinter.
“My gardening philosophy is to encourage Nature in all its forms.
“Having been a plant buyer for a garden-centre I have collected an idiosyncratic mix of cultivated specimen plants, which are interplanted with English Natives. The garden is not just left to go wild but sensitively managed,” she added.
“I encourage self-seeding but reserve the right to have the last word, consequently the garden is never the same from one year to the next. Henk Gerritsen is one of my gardening gurus. He questioned accepted ideas about the boundaries between garden and the wild.
“For two years running we have won Best Wildlife Garden and Best Sustainable Garden awards from Chichester DC.
My contact details are @selfseeding, email@example.com and 07939 272443.
“Please do contact me. I would love to show you the garden, help you with your wildlife gardening queries and raise money for The Sussex Wildlife Trust..all of the £4.00 garden entry fee you pay to see the garden goes to The Trust.
“If you want to make an afternoon of it I can recommend a very good tearoom in Amberley nearby called Amberley Village Tearoom!”
Report and picture contributed by Jean Jackman.