The Burgess Hill Horticultural Society comprises over 300 members from Burgess Hill and the surrounding area. The Society was founded on 10th November 1964 as the ‘Burgess Hill Gardens and Allotments Association’; changing its name to the Horticultural Society in 2013. Its history goes back much further. The first recorded mention of a horticultural club and flower show in the town dates to 1884. By 1940, a local branch of the British Legion had established a horticultural group in order to participate in the national ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign. Post-war, the Legion continued running a horticultural club until 1964. They intend to start an archive project in the near-future and encourage people who may be able to add to our knowledge of ‘Horticulture in Burgess Hill’.
Over the years they have hosted evenings with many well known gardeners such as Sarah Raven, Christine Walkden, Fergus Garrett, Chris Beardshaw and Pippa Greenwood. They hold approximately 22 activities a year; ranging from monthly Meetings, Flower and Produce Shows and Coach Outings. Glorious Gardens always makes sure they involve the client as much as possible within the design process.
In 1897 the Victoria Pleasure Gardens were opened by Edwin Street, a well known local butcher and farmer, in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The lake was used for boating in summer and skating in winter, but only after Mr Street, who weighed 23 stone, had tested it for safety. The gardens were designed to be an all year round attraction and the main building in the gardens was the large hall, which contained a thousand seater restaurant , a theatre, a dance floor, a roller skating rink as well as a shop and other occasional rooms. The gardens were rented out for space to some Independent Traders – Mr Faccenda, ran a kiosk serving Ice Cream made to his own recipe. Mr William Wheatley operated the cycle track.
These beautiful gardens closed during World War II and eventually closed for good in 1939. The amusements included all the usual fun of the fair amusements plus from 1900 a gravity railway -an early former of roller coaster. Glorious Gardens draws on the local history for inspiration on their garden designs.
Local to Burgee Hill is Borde Hill, known as “one of the country’s truly great gardens’ ‘. It showcases the Azalea Ring and Rhododendron Gardens, Rose Garden and a scenic Italian Garden, plus subtropical dells and ruins of Old Potting Sheds. Beyond the Garden visitors can enjoy beautiful woodland walks, lakeside strolls or explore the grade II* listed parkland. During the summer months you can see stunning floral fragrances of roses and bright blooms in the herbaceous borders. Throughout the gardens there are spaces to sit and ponder the sights of the green spaces.