In 1946, Joyce and Hugh Robinson purchased land that had belonged to Lord Denman at the turn of the century. They moved into the dilapidated gardener’s cottage and renovated the badly neglected property, creating a successful market garden, complete with greenhouses, conservatories, a walled garden, dairy, and piggery. Their produce went by train to Covent Garden Market and to local shops.
Joyce, known as Mrs. J.H., eventually converted it from market garden to ornamental garden, residing in the charming cottage until her passing in 1996.
John Brookes MBE moved to Denmans in 1980. Until his death in March 2018, he revised the garden continually, integrating Mrs. J.H.’s planting style and retaining the two dry river beds she created. Renovations he began are ongoing.
Today Denmans, which is 4 acres, is a contemporary country garden renowned for its curvilinear layout, faux dry river beds, water features, complex and unusual plantings, and its peaceful year-round interest.
Located between Arundel and Chichester, Denmans is highly significant in the history of garden design.