Parham House and Gardens prepares to open for an exciting 2020 season

Parham House & Gardens has announced its calendar of events for the 2020 season when it will welcome new head gardener Erika Packard and her husband, assistant head gardener Tim Miles.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 11:39 am
Parham House. Picture: Elizabeth Zeschin
Parham House. Picture: Elizabeth Zeschin

Erika began her new role at Parham in September, having previously been head gardener of a 24-acre private garden in Kent designed by Tom Stuart-Smith.

She said: “I am delighted to have the full support of Lady Emma Barnard and her family in my desire to further elevate Parham’s gardens. My aim is for Parham to become a destination of horticultural excellence whilst preserving the spirit of the garden as part of a much-loved family home.”

After earning a BA degree in writing and photography, American-born Erika worked in journalism and communications in various cities around the United States.

Erika was inspired to pursue a career in gardening after she purchased a plot of land near her childhood home outside Charlottesville, Virginia, which she transformed into a small farm, as well as her volunteer work as a trained horticultural educator with the Piedmont Master Gardeners.

An appreciation for British horticulture led her abroad to Scotland, where she studied horticulture with plantsmanship at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), one of the world’s pre-eminent botanical institutions. Erika graduated at the top of her class and holds a BSc from Glasgow University and the RBGE Diploma in Plantsmanship, with distinction.

Parham’s gardens consist of the beautiful pleasure grounds and a four-acre walled garden featuring uniquely planted herbaceous borders, a rose garden, herb, cut flower and vegetable gardens and 1920s Wendy House.

The season at Parham will begin with Easter crafts and activities for families, feature newly curated tours of the needlework collection, masterclasses and much more.

What’s on at Parham House & Gardens in 2020

• The season opens for Easter fun on April 12/13 with a family garden trail, face painting, craft activities and storytelling.

• Needlework on Display in the House from May 6 to May 31, which offers a chance to see one of the UK’s finest needlework collections, with items not normally on display.

• Guided House Tours will take place on May 8, July 10, August 7, and September 11 at 10.30am, where there is an opportunity to learn about Parham’s fascinating history and see its treasures uncovered.

• An Embroidery Masterclass with Chrissie Juno Mann will take place on May 12 from 10am to 4pm, when Chrissie, a Royal School of Needlework tutor, teaches how to embroider a ‘Wild Rose’ in The Great Hall.

• Guided Garden Tours will take place on May 15, June 19, July 17, August 14 and September 18, where visitors will get to see behind-the-scenes in Parham’s beautiful gardens as well as receive tips and inspiration.

• Guided Clock Tours take place on May 22 and September 4 at 10.30am, which include hour-long tours of Parham’s horological objects and their history.

• An Artist in Residence Exhibition will happen from June 10 to July 5, with Diana de Vere Cole’s beautiful paintings of Parham on display.

• Guided Needlework Tours will take place on August 21 and October 2 at 10.30am, featuring new tours of Parham’s intricate needlework with an expert guide.

When is Parham House & Gardens open?

Parham House & Gardens is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and bank holidays from April 12 to October 11.

Visit www.parhaminsussex.co.uk for further information.