The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

A Visit To Merriments Garden in East sussex (and Hastings)


Here are a few photos of our weekend in Hastings (Julie, myself and Paddy the terrier) but, mostly of our visit to Merriment Gardens and nursey on the way home on Monday. It was a very nice garden, lots of herbaceous and mixed borders,some lovely trees, especially the Birches and some excellent planting combinations. And, a bonus that Paddy could come with us (many gardens don’t allow dogs). He really loved it and saw a few other dogs as well as lots of people who made a fuss of him. For obvious reasons, the lady gardener who found some treats in her shorts pocket was rather popular with him.They really were very dog friendly.But first, just a few shots from the weekend in Hastings. There really are some lovely parts, particularly the old town and the walk accross the cliffs to the town from our holiday park , Shearbarn.

Our caravan…or lodge(if you’re posh like me)

Now, this is my kind of Crazy Golf. Aaaaaaaarr!!

The East Cliff lift.

The old town of Hastings has a lovely atmosphere when sitting outside a bar or restaurant on a sunny evening and that’s ideal, of course, if you have a dog with you as we did!
The pub in the photos is the Olde Pump House..a pub I once went in with Graeme , my eldest(the comedian) when I was running him around to his bookings a few years ago.He had a few gigs at Combe Haven holiday park in Hastings about 2009/10

But, we chose ‘The Black Pearl’ …well, being a pirate, I would, wouldn’t I ? And, this was my dinner. I don’t usually post pictures of my dinner.Although, it seems quite a popular thing for youngsters to do on social media these days.(including my youngest Lloyd, who is quite proud of the dinners he cooks…..he does quite well, in fairness) I told Lloyd, when he once posted a picture of his dinner."Why do people want to see your dinner? Before the days of Facebook/Twitter, if I’d taken a snap of my dinner then gone to my mates’ houses to show them, I wouldn’t have had any mates left!!!!! But, I digress,

We walked on Saturday morning from our holiday park , through a country park,across the East cliff to the town and then back(after the obligatory coffee and cake and a little bit of shopping for Julie(but not much as I was outside with Paddy). It was quite a warm day so, by the time we’d climbed the hills back up to our park on the way back, 12 year old Paddy was slowing just a little so he had a carry for the last few hundred yards.But, he does very well for a four legged senior citizen!

On to Monday and our visit to Merriments Garden on the way home to Essex. It is situated in Hurst Green(very close to the A21 Hastings road) in East Sussex.

Julie always seems to shut her eyes when having her photo taken….she’s a very reluctant photographee!

I loved these Silver Birch and surrounding plantings.

Oh…Paul has got in on the act.

This Willow looked very quirky. I assume it had had a really hard cutting back/pollarding , a few years looks to me as if it needs some eyes and a hat and it would look like a hippy!

Yes, we can see you Julie!

The bog/ pond are wasvery dry.
It seems there has been very little rain in East Sussex, just like Essex.We really need some soon.The forecast predicted rain all morning today but, we had two drizzle showers lasting less than five minutes each.

This was a lovley little tree but, unfortunately, like many of the plants, it didn’t have a label.Can anyone identify it?
The leaves look almost Oak (esque) but, I suspect it isn’t a member of the Quercus genus(not sure though)

I think this(above ) is my favourite photo of the day)

This is a beautiful Clematis (unlabelled, unfortunately) Is it Etoille De Violette?? …not sure, maybe?

A busy Bee!

A little bit Monet(esque)

Another lovely tree although the photo doesn’t do it justice (fortunately……this was labelled) Cercidiphyllum Japonicum (Red Fox)

It is a lovely garden and well worth a visit.The only slight downsides (and they were only slight) were the non labelling of lots of plants(some of us like to know what the plants are but it didn’t spoil my enjoy,ent of the lovely gardens) and the lack of any gluten free goodies in the coffee shop/restaurant.So, I had to sit and watch Julie devour a lovely looking cheese scone with chutney. But, they did serve one of my favourite coffees (Lavazza) It has a lovely flavour which is so important when you have to drink it black as I do(yes, dairy intolerant as well as gluten)
It was a lovely weekend and I finished it off by buying some plants from the lovely nursery at Merriments. Yes, they were on my shopping list for my new garden.(Well,all but one was)
I hope you enjoyed your virtual visit.
Happy gardening

More blog posts by paulspatch

Previous post: A Struggle Working In This Heat...and, Now To Keeping the Garden Alive Whilst We're Away!

Next post: A Cheese and Cucumber Sandwich With A Difference!



Thank you, I enjoyed the trip round the garden, but especially interesting were the views of Hastings,having never been there.Did you visit the site of the battle? Things have changed quite a lot since those days!

7 Jul, 2015


No, we didn't go to much to fit in as we were only actually in Hastings two full days.As it rained on the Sunday Morning, we decided to go to Rye rather than battle as there were antique shops etc to walk around, a better activity in the rain, perhaps!

7 Jul, 2015


Thanks for showing Hastings in a positive way Paul. I live 9 miles away and we love the old town and the cliff walks its a lovely area. Merriments is just up the road from us so I tend to go there a lot and sometimes sit and read in their garden after a nice lunch.

7 Jul, 2015


Very nice to have it so close Drc.The people there are very friendly.
I like like all towns has its unsavoury aspects and people, I'm sure, but it's still a lovely place to visit.

8 Jul, 2015


I've put this on to my Favourites Paul, not just because it's a great blog, but OH and may spend a day in Hastings and Rye soon as it's about an hour and half drive for us, on a roadworks free day!

8 Jul, 2015


Oh, I took some pictures in Rye, too, Shirley but it was a dull rainy morning(Sunday) so pics not great. I have only ever Darien through Rye before but we enjoyed looking round the antique/collectible shops and a few nice coffee shops too!
If you wanted to do the walk across the East cliff Shirley, u could park in the Country Park car park in Barley Lane and then about 25/35 min walk to sea front /town centre.

8 Jul, 2015


What a superb collection of photo's. I have never been to that part of the country, it looks delightful, perhaps you should be on the Tourist Board for Hastings!
The gardens look terrific and well worth a visit from anyone, especially as they have a nursery full of plants too.
Your favourite photo is very spectacular and probably even better 'in the flesh'. Do you know what the stunning bright yellow shrubs/trees were, they certainly make a great backdrop?
I take it the stag was one of the large life size cast iron statues? I was looking at these on the internet and thinking how good it would look at the top of the field, when the silver birches grow a bit more, but then I would probably want a herd - never satisfied!

10 Jul, 2015


Hastings looks a lovely place, and the garden looks wonderful. I'm glad you had a nice break :)

10 Jul, 2015


Thanks Hywel and Honeysuckle.
Yes, the stag was cast iron. I saw it first close up but it made a better picture in the distance with the long grass in the foreground.
Hastings is a lovely place although,it has had quite a bit of negative publicity , I believe over recent years due, mainly, to some of the people who live in some of the rented accommodation there.
The old town is particularly pleasant.
I can't remember now what the yellow shrubs first view I thought they were Choisyas but when I looked closer, they weren't but I can't remember if I recognised what they were or not.the tall tree, I can't remember what it was but I think the silver one is a weeping pear.

10 Jul, 2015


I've never heard anything about Hastings, negative or otherwise. I always thought it was a posh place.

10 Jul, 2015


I believe over the last few years there has been a big drug problem there.there was even a TV programme about it once.
Still very nice in the old town and around the sea front and town centre.

10 Jul, 2015


It must have been on the local channel. We often get different programmes to the English regions ...

10 Jul, 2015


Yes....some time ago now.
Since I've been at my new house where we have FreeSat TV, I can get a couple of Welsh channels.have watched a bit of rugby a couple of times but couldn't understand the commentary!

10 Jul, 2015


lol ...

11 Jul, 2015


Although I live quite close to Hastings, I haven't been there for some years and have never visited (or heard of!) the Merriment Gardens at Hurst Green and that is only a 40 minute drive away. Having seen all your lovely photos I will have to drop the name into the conversation with my family sometime :) Thanks for all the info. Glad you had a good time.

15 Jul, 2015


I've just googled the Merriment Gardens, Paul, but the site doesn't say anything about dogs being allowed in. Are there are restrictions (apart from food areas)? It really looks a fantastic place with something for everyone.

15 Jul, 2015


I have never seen dogs in the garden Gee and I go about twice a year. Its very easy to get to on the A21 go straight through Hurst Green and then take the first right turning the A229 towards Hawkhurst and its only about 200 yards on the left.
If you want to make a day of it and visit 2 gardens King John's garden Etchingham is also worth a visit. I love this romantic garden with its Grade II listed Jacobean manor house although not open to the public is lovely.

15 Jul, 2015


Thanks for that information, Drc, I will certainly try and persuade the family it would make a good day out. Being able to take the dogs would be a bonus but ours are a bit bigger than Paddy :)

15 Jul, 2015


We used the Gardeners World 2for 1 entry voucher in the May issue. in the booklet that comes with it, it states in the Merriments listing that dogs are welcome.They weren't all small dogs in the gardens,The staff were all very happy to see dogs in there and the lady on the entrance said "We are all dog lovers here"
We even took Paddy into the outside seating area of the restaurant/coffee shop and so did another couple.There was no problem.

15 Jul, 2015


Thanks, Paul, that's really good to know. They don't seem to say that on the website (or perhaps I couldn't see for looking). I am just off now to check out King John's garden - that sounds my sort of thing too. Just have to get the family on board now :)

16 Jul, 2015


You're right...I looked on the website and couldnt see any mention but because we were going to Sussex for the weekend and have the GW 2for1 book, we just looked in that for nearby gardens with the dog symbol but, there was no problem at all. There were even poeoplejust looking round the nursery (you don't have to go in the gardens) with dogs.
I'm sure you'll enjoy it if you go. Not too big, just right.
I don't know king John's.......of course Dixter isn't a million miles from there but I'd be surprised if u could take dogs in there.although of course, Fergus the gardener walks around with his dog and Christipher LlloyD always had dogs(corgis, I think)

16 Jul, 2015

Add a comment

Recent posts by paulspatch

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    28 Feb, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    25 Feb, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    2 Mar, 2015

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 May, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 May, 2013

  • Gardening with friends since
    2 Nov, 2009