Having spent about an hour at Nyman’s garden, we then made our way to the garden that I have read about in all the gardening magazines –Sussex Prairies – and have been wanting to visit ever since it was made in 2008.
When you read so much about a garden, sometimes when you visit it can be a disappointment, no such worries here, as soon as I stepped in amongst the borders, it was just WOW all the way round!
The garden was once one of the fields at the farm and has been designed as a spiral with paths through all the borders so that you can get close and personal with the plants.
There were a few sculptures around the garden, some appealed to me, some didn’t. I thought some went with the setting whereas some looked wrong somehow.
I liked the contrast of textures and colours, the contrast between the grasses and the flowers, as you can see, everything was planted in very large groups which you can do when you have 6 acres to play with!
The giraffe looked at home striding amongst the grasses.
Lots of asters of all colours along with echinacea ……
……which were beautiful, mine were finished in the garden a long time ago.
This view of their pond reminds me to move the Persicaria that I have right at the top of the garden back to the border by the field where I had originally planted it.
Rudbeckia and asters go so well together, needless to say, the garden was buzzing everywhere with bees of every kind.
Just a little niggle, why had hostas been planted here? First of all they were planted in full sunshine, not in the shade of other plants and also I don’t think hostas can be described as “prairie plants” – what do you think? Maybe they wanted the contrast of the large leaves with the other planting but I felt they spoiled this area.
A lovely greyhound emerging from the central border. I wish I was 10 ft taller then I would have been able to show you an overview of all the colour spiraling around.
The owners planted 30,000 plants, 600 different varieties, with the help of 40 friends, it was certainly worth it.
Such a large planting of asters was certainly appreciated by the bees.
This view shows beautiful contrast of textures, this garden has shown me that I need more grasses mingling with my perennials.
If you look into the distance, there are some lovely blue flowers which drew me over to them and also some large allium seedheads.
I’m trying to persuade someone that he really would like to make me some allium seedheads this winter, copper piping and copper nails is all it takes!
The lovely blue flowers that I spotted were Salvia uliginosa and they were covered with masses of bees. This is the one plant that I bought, I was told it wasn’t reliably hardy, so not to plant it until next spring. There are so many side shoots that I will use for cuttings, so maybe by next spring I will have enough plants to make a drift!
I hope you can understand why I was completely bowled over and captivated by the planting, but how do I condense all this into a border about 100ft long and 6 to 8 ft wide! I already have some of these plants, so moving a few, taking cuttings and sowing seed should mean that I don’t need to buy many. It is a beautiful garden for this time of year, there were lots of seedheads from plants that had already flowered which added to the overall texture. I believe it is all cut to the ground in the spring, leaving the seeds for the birds in the winter, which should mean that it is a relatively low maintenance garden.
It was now time to catch a ferry over to the Isle of Wight and say goodbye to Portsmouth on the mainland. Forty five minutes later we were on our way once more driving towards our holiday cottage at Haddon Lake House, another house and garden which has been in all the gardening magazines, books and on TV. We knew we had arrived when we saw the planting round the car parking area, if the planting in this area was so good, I could hardly wait to see the rest!