The Glory of the Garden: Bateman’s, Nr Burwash, East Sussex

This wonderful poem was written by Rudyard Kipling.

Today I visited Bateman’s, a National Trust property, in Burwash, East Sussex. This was the home of Rudyard Kipling from 1902 until his death in 1936. Along with a number of famous poems and books, he also wrote the poem “The Glory of the Garden”.

I felt rather than write a lot about this interesting house and peaceful garden, the poem and a small selection of the many photos I took this afternoon would do it better justice.

Bateman’s, Burwash West Sussex : Rudyard Kipling’s Home 1902 – 1936

OUR England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.
For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You’ll find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dung-pits and the tanks,
The rollers, carts, and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.

The Mulberry Garden – Batemans

And there you’ll see the gardeners, the men and ‘prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise ;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.
And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows ;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Sweet Williams growing amongst the vegetables

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:-” Oh, how beautiful,” and sitting in the shade
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.
There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

The wild flower meadow by the old mill

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner In the Glory of the Garden.
Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!

And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away !

Bateman’s, Burwash


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13 thoughts on “The Glory of the Garden: Bateman’s, Nr Burwash, East Sussex

  1. I love Batemans. I did some volunteering there a couple of years back (In fact much of its beauty is down to me!!! Hehe). It was really interesting spending time with the gardeners and I learnt lots. I had to give it up when I went full time self employed but I still visit when I can. Dave


  2. Hi Ronnie,

    Beautiful photos, and it looks like it was rather quiet there! I’m always put off visiting places by large crowds; not that I don’t like crowds, more a case of wanting to relax and stroll around without thinking about other people.
    Wish I’d gone to Chatsworth now when I had the chance!


    1. Some clever photography and a lot of patience was required Liz, there were a lot of people including a party of school children. I thought I was never going to get a shot without people in there!


  3. A great post, HP60 – nothing quite goes with Kipling, like Kipling, and we can see the work of the ‘silent’ workers here in every garden room. But boy, I WOULD like a wildflower meadow!


  4. I had never heard this poem of Kipling’s and so appropriate for the gorgeous setting. I enjoyed the look of lavender all across the front. The presentation of this post was excellent- well done.


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