Highdown Gardens has been declared the horticultural equivalent of star sprinter Usain Bolt after winning a prestigious Gold Award for the third time running.
The gardens, owned and maintained by Worthing Borough Council, received the South East in Bloom award at a special ceremony at the Amex Stadium.
Just like Bolt, who won Golds at three consecutive Olympics, for the third year running the beauty spot on Highdown Hill has been awarded top prize, which places them in the company of famous historic gardens such as Osbourne House on the Isle of White and Pareham House near Storrington.
To be awarded Gold the Gardens had to convince a panel of highly-qualified judges that they are being maintained to the highest levels and are must-see places. Only gardens that reach more than 85 per cent on the judges score sheets are accepted as Gold winners.
Winning the award is a significant achievement and demonstrates the Council’s commitment to maintaining the legacy of Sir Frederick Stern who established this important chalk garden in early part of the 20th Century. Sir Frederick defied expert opinion at the time by growing exotic plants from around the world on chalk with just six inches of soil above.
The Council continue to maintain this garden and are working on plans to further develop the visitor experience at Highdown Gardens and safeguard the national plant collection contained in the gardens.
Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Digital and Environmental Services Cllr Edward Crouch said, “I am delighted that Highdown Gardens continues to be recognised for the high standards maintained there. It is a beautiful place, almost a hidden jewel up on the hill there but it only stays so because of the hard work of all our our garden staff.
“I would like to congratulate them for their commitment and hard work and would urge the public to take a trip up there to see what all the fuss is about.”