Sarah Raven is the reason I am so obsessed by flowers. Anyone who has her catalogue plop through their door will know why. I love visiting her garden at Perch Hill, but walking around, I feel more than a little envy.
I am totally envious of this fence.
Oh. Dahlia envy.
As you wind around the perfectly curvaceous path, there is an ombre of one colour blending into another.
There are gladioli too! Oh, I love this combination. I find gladioli evasive little devils to photograph. They’re all leany and out of focus at one end. But I did capture the sumptuous petal texture.
And here I did get my first fab gladioli picture. Ta dah!
I love that combination of apricot and plum. Delicious. I realise I should have made a note of varieties here, but the label was not immediately obvious.
This is Gladioli ‘Chocolate’, which sounds like a dangerous combination.
This dahlia was huge. These pumped up Dahlias seem to be making a comeback following the success of ‘Café au Lait’ last year. I do love the ruffled silk petals.
Here it is again, with a hint of the beautiful views beyond.
And – let the envy flow freely here – in the background are Sarah Raven’s compost bays. Nope it is not a multi-car port, I checked. Definitely compost bays.
Let’s turn the heat up with the dark-leaved dahlias. These all look like ‘Bishops’ Children’ to me.
The amaranthus behind the dahlias is inspired. No wonder we all fall at the feet of La Raven.
Here’s a close-up amaranthus. Looking just a little like Sideshow Bob.
The amaranthus was just giving the dahlias a little tickle.
Do you see the Verbena rigida at the front too? I have not photographed it well, but that just bedazzled me with the dark-leaved dahlias.
The dahlias start to merge in with the vegetable beds about here. Lettuce and dahlias look lovely together, don’t they?
Here’s some beautiful kale and Cavolo Nero.
And some stunning basil. Oh the smell! It is one of my favourite smells in the world.
On past the sunflowers…
We stopped for lunch at this point. In the glorious barn. You can see it was delicious. That was lemon chicken just casually thrown together with capers, anchovies, raisins and olives, a raw kale and pomegranate salad, and a cucumber and dill salad. With a casual toss of dahlia petals.
After lunch I had to go around the dahlia beds again. They were just too gorgeous. You might have to come with me for a final drool.
The wall! I missed the wall the first time. And the brick path.
Sarah Raven has inspired me to grow dahlias for the last eight years, not to mention tulips and annuals and euphorbia and gladioli. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I am glad that you inspire envy in all who visit your garden and gaze upon your catalogue.
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My aim in this blog is to share the little pops of wonder I get from gardening and from nature. We live in a stressful world and just slowing down for long enough to enjoy a simple bud or leaf or a butterfly can be a perfect antidote.