My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Visiting Leonardslee Gardens - for the very last time!

My daughter has a birthday on Friday and she's celebrating by going away for a couple nights with a few friends. Consequently, we went out for the day today by way of an early birthday celebration.

We went to Leonardslee Gardens in West Sussex. Sadly, having been in the Loder family for some generations, it has now been sold to an International Businessman who, at present, has no plans to open the gardens to the public. It closes in 7 days time on 30 June.

The gardens are beautiful and amazingly so in the spring when they are alive to the dazzling colours of azaleas and rhododendrons.

I have posted quite a number of pictures but as it's the last opportunity......

The bird life was mostly Greylags and Mallards.. although Black-caps and Chiff Chaffs serenaded us on our way around the gardens.

The Animal life is Wallabies! They've been there for many years and I suspect that now they will be rehomed (my surmising only!). For the first time I saw large areas that were fenced off in which the wallabies were roaming. Normally they have the freedom of the gardens.

Which some still have! We rounded the corner to see this little joey. Don't know who was most surprised - it or us!

Mum was keeping an eye on us and after we passed by she shot off in pursuit of her youngster.

Many damsels and quite a few dragons. Considering this is the hottest day of the year so far, it's bringing them all out! This Broad-bodied chaser being one of them
(I took this with a Sigma 18-50 lens and it's been heavily cropped. Hadn't got the big lens with me!)

Rather like this young couple..

And the gardens!

We had a lovely lunch and then sauntered back out via the garden shop. I like the colours in this glass garden ornament.

There's a permanent display of Victorian carriages.... those were the days!

Finally we left and met my grandson coming out of school. Given the heat we decided an ice-cream on the beach was called for.... excellent.

A really great day out in the best company - thank you :D

I do hope the new owner appreciates these marvellous gardens, lakes, woods and wildlife and will, one day, open it to the public again. It's such a shame that we will no longer be able to enjoy these.


Pete said...

oh that's sad!

Gaina said...

What a shame! I gather from the website that it's been sold to an 'international businessman'. It would be sad to think that he's never going to be there and yet he won't let the public enjoy it'd thing a businessman would realize its GOOD to keep it open for the public?

Janine said...

What a lovely place. So many textures and colors of foliage. If he is a good businessman he will see the value of bringing in the public, I am sure a tea and gift shop would bring in revenue.

oldcrow61 said...

Beautiful gardens and the carriages are lovely. Love the shots of the Joey and his mom.

Jackie said...

Hi Tricia, we went to Leoonardslee today, never been before but wanted to see it before it closed. What a beautiful place, when the rhododendrons are out it must look spectacular!!

Hope all is well with you and yours, Jackie.

Tricia said...

Pete - yes, really sad :(

Gaina - we're wondering what the "international businessman" is gointo do with it. It's an amazing place and, I would imagine, quite lucrative.

Janine - could cafe and plant shop already there. Although the plant nursery is independent and still remains open.

OC - It was great to "bump into" Joey and Mum.

Jackie - Spring is really THE time to go. If I'd know earlier it was closing I would have gone a while ago when all the azaleas and rhododendrons were in flower!

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