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Bateman’s is a 17th-century house located in the pretty white weather-boarded village of Burwash, East Sussex, England. Author Rudyard Kipling lived in Bateman’s from 1902 to his death in 1936. His wife left the house to the National Trust on her death in 1939, and it has since been opened to the public. If you are a fan of Kipling then the beautiful Jacobean house with its six stack column chimneys will be a draw as it has been left exactly as when the family lived there, including an impressive study where Kipling wrote and a room where manuscripts and unusual objects and collections are displayed. The interior of the house reflects Kipling’s strong links with the Indian subcontinent including many oriental rugs and Indian works of art and artifacts.

Explore the English country gardens with the manicured lawns and clipped yew hedges, lily pond and roses then wander through the meadow with its wild flowers and small flowing river where chickens roam free. The gardens are not big, but they are set in 33 acres of wonderful Sussex countryside, the inspiration for some of Kipling’s later works.

You reach the house down what Kipling described as “an enlarged rabbit-hole of a lane” to arrive in the National Trust car park. A path from the entrance leads through to a herb garden and orchard to the house, café, shop and gardens.

Poem “The Glory of the Garden”  by Rudyard Kipling.

“OUR England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.
For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You’ll find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dung-pits and the tanks,
The rollers, carts, and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.”

Summer
Summer

“And there you’ll see the gardeners, the men and ‘prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise ;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.
And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows ;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.”

DSCF1566

In the walled garden, where there is a summer terrace for the café, you can also grab a picnic blanket and sit on the lawn and enjoy the colourful borders.

“Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:-” Oh, how beautiful,” and sitting in the shade
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.
There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.”

Walking around to the back of the house brings you to the pond and rose garden.

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“Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner In the Glory of the Garden.
Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!”

Leaving the formal gardens behind a track leads through the wild meadow where bees are kept, chicken roam free and a small stream meanders to the mill.

chickens

 “And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away !”

Shrub Rose
Shrub Rose

 More about Kipling and Bateman’s can be found here.

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29 thoughts on “The Glory of the Garden

    1. If only! Though actually I am seriously thinking of that part of the country – the villages there seem much lively than those in Cornwall. And it is closer to my children (well, some of them)

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  1. You take us to the most exquisite places! The combination of vintage architecture and gorgeous gardens is hard to resist – I try to imagine what it would be like to actually live in such surroundings day after day. Love the whimsy notes on the chalkboard and the brick-inlaid walkways.

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    1. Oh, it would be marvellous to live in such a house – though actually this is quite a small house (and dark inside so not to my taste). But the surroundings are gorgeous, I can see how inspirational it would be to a writer like Kipling.

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    1. Gosh, it was SO hot this day Meg, you wouldn’t want to be on that lawn unless you could get under one of the trees. That little statue on the fountain is so cute. I HAVE to get a statue!

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  2. Reblogged this on TRAVEL WORDS and commented:

    Watching the RHS Chelsea flower show yesterday evening there was a piece on Pennard Plants. Their Chelsea display is a garden based on a Rudyard Kipling poem “The Glory of the Garden” and aims to demonstrate all that is good about the English garden, using flowers and vegetables.

    It reminded me that I have written a post about this marvellous poem and the house and garden where Kipling last lived. It is also fitting that this year is 150 years since his birth.
    Enjoy the poem and the garden, comments are very welcome on the original post.

    “OUR England is a garden that is full of stately views,
    Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
    With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
    But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye…”

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  3. I really enjoy visiting walled gardens. They are so different to what we have here and I love seeing the wonderful variety plants. Combine this with a marvellous home full of history and you’ve got the makings of a great day out.

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    1. It was a terrific day out in wonderful sunny summer weather. There are so many beautiful gardens in that part of England I could spend years there and still not visit them all!

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  4. It is indeed a lovely garden Jude, though I suspect that Kipling would have employed gardeners to do all the work, then just wandered around enjoying the results of their labours. It is a beautiful part of the country, but houses there were reasonably pricey the last time I looked.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

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    1. I am fairly sure he would Pete, but I wouldn’t have hated being one of those gardeners. It is a delight. Lots of lovely gardens in the south-east.

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  5. Glorious, and another place on the list when next in Sussex, if timed right. Love the poem and your photos, as always, capture an English garden in all its glory so perfectly. Thank you for sharing this delightful post with us Jude xx

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