The beautiful Haling Park is now the grounds of Whitgift School, an independent boys' school. In 1588 the estate was home to Lord Howard of Effingham, the Lord High Admiral of the Fleet sent against the Armada. The grounds were designed by Humphry Repton, with many superb specimen trees. A copse remains from the old medieval woodland.
Whitgift School Gardens are a series of fascinating, well-maintained gardens in a number of original styles, all of which help to provide a stimulating environment for students. The gardeners are continuously developing the gardens to make sure there isn't another school garden as excellent as this to be found in the UK.
Several gardens will be open for OGSW. The Boarding House Garden, constructed in 2013, is designed to give Whitgift boarders a space to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Planted in 2014, the Mediterranean border takes you on a journey into an exotic garden with non-native specimen plants.
The formal Andrew Quadrangle features manicured lawns framed by tightly clipped topiary and is enhanced by a splendid Japanese Garden with an impressive bonsai collection. Exotic birds roam freely.
The traditional Founder's Garden sits within splendid high walls and boasts amazing herbaceous borders, a long and colourful rose pergola and a maze. The shelter of the walls creates a microclimate that enables quite tender plants to grow. The long front border is a well-balanced garden of perennials and shrubs and is a riot of colour from spring to mid-summer with huge rhododendrons and thousands of bulbs.