This post is a companion piece for yesterday’s post about Sarah Raven’s Dahlia trial beds, Pure Envy. Today I will take you around the cutting gardens and Oast House, and we will see how we are all feeling by the end.
You enter the gardens through the cutting gardens.
My eye was immediately drawn to this collection of Echinacea. They are very appropriately called ‘Marmalade’, ‘Summer Salsa’ and ‘Eccentricity’. I can’t grow Echineacea, so I am very happy to admire these for a while.
The cutting garden is arranged in blocks or rows of colour. You find your block and stand in front of it for a while muttering “gorgeous…”
Sometimes it is a patch of Dahlias…
Never have I seen so many inarticulate people dressed in loose linen and straw hats, being unable to string a sentence together. What do we call this phenomenon? Flower fug? Inner cities have their problems with spice. East Sussex has sweet peas.
All I could do was stand here sniffing.
Holding my hands out, turning slowly around…
Just opening and closing my mouth.
I did take a few steps, but just stumbled into more of them.
Until I came to my senses at the end of the row.
Only to fall into Echinacea ‘Green Envy’.
These Dahlias are clearly dangerous.
It was something of a relief to see signs of wear and tear in the garden. My Dahlia ‘Ripples’ is looking exactly like this (see Cook little pot, cook!); just ever so slightly flea-bitten. In a deliciously wicked witch sort of a way.
And Verbena bonariensis had a backdrop of grassy seedheads. Things are starting to look ‘late summer’.
We took a moment to admire the cloud-pruning here:
And then it was onwards to the rest of the garden.
When I came here in April, (see A Profusion of Pots at Perch Hill) the Oast Garden blew me away.
I’m just going to calm myself for a moment with Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’.
How does she do it?
There were people lying flat on their backs being fanned by anxious friends and family. Completely overcome. I had to step over them as I turned in circles looking this way and that, just gasping at the fantabulous overstuffery and mahoosive floriferation all around.
I’m not sure if this Agapanthus is ‘Purple Cloud’ or ‘Navy Blue’. Neither name does it justice. I am trying to think of superlatives and synonyms for blue… ‘Azure Heaven’; ‘Cerulean Bliss’; ‘Ultra Ultramarine’…
Oh, I’m falling. I’m just going to lie here for a while.
I crawled on my hands and knees to the shade of these steps.
It was time for a brave browse in the shop. Even this is a Temple of Beauty.
I resisted these…
Anything arranged in a rainbow or available in ten or more colours seems to trigger an acquisitive urge. But I conquered it. No one needs raffia in three different shades of pink.
Get me to the café. My wallet is twitching.
I will just take a seat here. And take in this view.
I got through it.
The envy has dissipated. I am left with pure admiration.
Has anyone else done more to glamourise gardening? To make grown people jump for joy for the combination of Moroccan Blue and Acid Green? Or stand speechless in front of a sweet pea tepee? Or simply sit and stare at the perfect placement of a few glass ink bottles and single stems?
I leave the garden feeling inspired, lifted up, invigorated. Sarah Raven is the High Priestess of the Cut Flower. All hail.
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My aim in this blog is to share the little pops of wonder I get from gardening and from nature. You don’t have to be into gardening to appreciate these. The world is an amazing place and there are so many sensory delights that go unnoticed. Let’s not waste the pleasure!