This year sees a new head gardener - Tom Brown - taking over the running of the garden - he comes from RHS Wisley where he specialised in herbaceous borders, so an auspicious appointment for Parham, where the borders are part of the garden's glory. Part of the joy of this garden at this time of year is the absolute profusion of spring bulbs - and you'll see tulip displays to rival Pashley Manor but later in the season, it's the borders that will stun you.
Parham House is medieval and you access the gardens through the splendid Fountain Court (right) presided over by the clocktower. Access to the gardens is along a gravel path and through a wrought-iron gate guarded by stone lions, and suddenly there are four acres of walled gardens ahead.The planting is immaculate and designed to lift your heart at any time during the season. There is a lake and huge meadows of wild flowers... and all this in addition to the hundreds of acres of parkland surrounding the property, complete with church.
Parham nestles in the shadow of the glorious South Downs and there are plenty of wonderful country pubs in the vicinity if you want to stop for lunch.
I visited early in the season, but will be returning once the borders are in full bloom because I know it's a spectacular sight. Parham is a member of the Historic Houses Assocation, so if you're a paid-up member, entry to the garden is free.