The A272 runs through some of the most beautiful and historical landscapes in the country, the only road which has a book written about it (A272 – An Ode to a Road by Pieter Boogaart). Lucky for Grayshott Gardeners then, that the destination on this sunny September Sunday was Sussex Prairie Garden in East Sussex.
Inspired by Piet Oudolf, owners Paul and Pauline McBride designed their eight acres garden as a series of interlocking areas of large planted borders in a naturalistic style, with tracks through the plantings for visitors to get up close to the flowers, shrubs and grasses. The Prairie Garden was planted in May 2008 in the shape of a nautilus shell, which allows for contrasting leaf forms, stems, stalks, flower shapes and textures. The colours, at their best in late summer, are muted and harmonise beautifully together.
This was a rare opportunity to view a garden in a style which, as suggested on Gardeners Question Time recently, only requires two days of maintenance a year – one to add compost for feeding the plants, and another to scythe off the flower heads. Yet it still manages to look beautiful, as the pictures show.
A range of ‘prairie plants’ were available from the nursery, and an added bonus was the sale of rare plants held on this day, making for a greater number of visitors than is normally the case.
Sussex Prairie Garden is affiliated to RHS – additional information can be found on their website http://www.sussexprairies.co.uk