Recording of ‘John Brookes at Denmans:  A Modernist Comes to Sussex’ 


An extra chance to watch this online talk. Once purchased you will receive a link to access the recording via email.

SKU: DENMANSTALK2023-REC Categories: , Tag:


Fifty years ago, renowned landscape designer John Brookes MBE discovered Denmans through the NGS Yellow Book.   Captivated by its naturalistic plantings and innovative gravel gardens created by plantswoman, Joyce Robinson, he said the garden was something ‘new’ and that it broke with the labour-intensive garden traditions of the past. Moving to Denmans in 1980, he started the Clock House School of Garden Design and took over management of the garden.  Over the years the Modernist stylised the garden, fusing Mrs Robinson’s plantings with his bold, distinctive style.  Today the garden retains the rich horticultural heritage, gravel gardens, and dry riverbeds Mrs. Robinson created, and the flowing lines, architectural plantings, and focal points integrated by Brookes.  Denmans is a tranquil, contemporary garden at home in its Sussex setting; the best of horticulture and landscape design.  This talk tells the gardens story, how it was nearly lost, and what the future holds. 

About Gwendolyn van Paasschen

Gwendolyn van Paasschen is a garden designer and writer. Having worked with internationally renowned British landscape designer John Brookes MBE on a major multi-year project in Upstate New York, she helped write his memoir, A Landscape Legacy (Pimpernel Press, 2018), and is now chairman of the John Brookes-Denmans Foundation (JBDF) which she co-founded in 2017.  The JBDF is dedicated to perpetuating John Brookes’ design legacy and to the renovation and preservation of Denmans Garden, his garden in West Sussex.  She currently owns and runs Denmans Garden which includes a plant centre and retail space.   

She has recently edited a collection of Brookes’s unpublished essays entitled How to Design A Garden which was published in October 2021.  


Instagram/Twitter: @denmans_garden  

Facebook: @DenmansGarden.WSussex   

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