It’s not often I’m blown away by a garden. Not that there aren’t many favourites out there, but often they’re ‘interesting’, ‘well maintained’ and ‘attractive’, which is good, but just not stop-you-in-your-tracks different and fabulous. And then came the Sussex Prairie Garden.
The six acre garden was created by Paul and Pauline McBride, who had both worked previously on a garden in Luxembourg designed by Piet Oudolf, and only returned to the UK in 2007. They created the garden, to their own spiralling nautilus shell design, having propagated 30,000 plants from plants they’d brought back from Europe.
Although a keen Oudolf fan, I have been disappointed on occasion with the borders at Wisley (the only Oudolf planting I’ve seen in person) and so was keen to see prairie planting on a larger scale. Well I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Not only is the planting fabulous, but the garden is also home to various sculptures, which further enhance the views.
The down side is that I was so busy squeaking about the astonishing vistas and ‘layers’ of colour repeated across significant distances, that I did a very bad job of noting plant varieties. Never mind. Just sit back and enjoy the pictures.