King John’s Nursery is one of those very rare finds; a traditional nursery that knows its plants, propagates most of its own stock and has an environmental conscience. Harry the owner’s focus is herbaceous perennials, but shrubs, roses, climbers, bedding, herbs and vegetable plugs are all available. There is, however, much, much more to this hidden gem
The shop carries an eclectic mix of country-living items, including hard-to-find tools; locally-crafted goods such as trugs, natural Sussex cosmetics and furniture made from coppiced wood; gazebos, arches and obelisks; statuary and pots; eco-friendly products and local artwork. Even better for the leisurely visitor, there is a small café with wonderful slices of locally-made cake!
Local produce even extends to some of the plants on offer. One speciality of the nursery is Coralroot (Cardamine bulbifera), a native plant of damp coppice woodlands in the High Weald, which Harry has managed to cultivate. By enabling local householders to plant this rare species in suitable habitats in their gardens, King John’s Nursery is doing its own particular bit for the biodiversity of the High Weald.
Adjoining the nursery is the romantic, eight acre gardens of King John’s Lodge; a magnificent, Grade II listed Jacobean manor house. Praised by national and international garden writers, there is lots to see on a visit: formal lawns with a fountain and lily pond; a rose walk; a wild garden with ancient apple trees; a meadow and a secret pond on a woodland walk.
King John's Nursery is signed up to Our Land, a website that promotes businesses based in protected landscapes who have pledged to care for their local landscape and promote what is special about it.