Tag Archives: Gravetye Manor

In a vase on Monday – Gravetye blooms

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None of these beautiful vases are mine this week, but they were all on display at Gravetye Manor which I visited at the weekend and blogged about here, and I thought the lovely IaVoM crowd would enjoy them as much as I did,

The gardens are glorious and happily there were also flowers everywhere within the hotel.  The ones above were in an intriguing circular but flat vase.  It struck me as a clever design as it provides that wonderful arc of flowers, but doesn’t take anything like the volume of blooms required to fill a similarly sized gold fish bowl shaped vase, and, if it’s to be placed against a wall you don’t need an all round arrangement.

I asked at reception what proportion of the blooms came from the garden and, whilst understandably they said the proportion is higher in the summer, it was clear from my walk around the garden and from the lovely natural feel to the arrangements, that many of the blooms, and particularly the foliage, had been cut from the garden.IMG_2527

This fabulous pair of vases were in the dining room, and, whilst I’m sure the lilies were brought in, and I imagine the Molucella too, I know the beautiful Dicentra were from the garden as I saw a whole bank of them.IMG_2457

This vase also made use of another round/flat vase.  I can’t think what the blue flower is (any clues?) but this too I saw growing in the garden.IMG_2459

And finally, I think perhaps my favourite, so simple and yet so charming, just a lupin bud, and some foliage, including a little bud of  Alchemilla mollis.IMG_2460

The head florist at Gravetye is Chelsea award winning Sue Flight, who’s quoted on the website saying  “It really is a pleasure to work with the flowers at Gravetye. The ability to have specially grown cut flowers is fantastic and I am able to recreate the garden inside! Gravetye has been an amazing place to work where you feel a sense of belonging to a special family; a family that works together to provide exceptional hospitality for our wonderful guests.”

It turns out she runs monthly Flower Workshops at the hotel.  Anyone tempted?  I know I am!

With thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the garden who hosts this lovely meme.

Glorious Gravetye Manor

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This weekend saw the OH and me celebrating (a month early) our 30th Wedding Anniversary having decided just a few days ago to go to Gravetye Manor.

Gravetye was the home of William Robinson, who bought it in 1884 and lived there until his death in 1935.  At Gravetye he established the idea of the English natural garden, eschewing the ‘blobby’ Victorian bedding planting and,  instead pioneering sweeping, painterly drifts of herbaceous perennials close to the house, but also establishing wonderful ‘wild’ areas of naturalised bulbs and wild flowers.

As the website says “The variety and charm of the arrangements of trees and shrubs and the layout of the different types of garden at Gravetye is still his creation and memorial. Even when very old and partly crippled he would go out in his wheelchair and scatter bulbs and seeds from a bag on his lap; the garden room he built at the end of the formal garden provided him with a shelter from which he could watch his beloved flowers and trees from a fresh viewpoint.”

I’d read about Robinson and Gravetye in The Garden magazine a couple of years ago and it’s been on my list ever since.  Following the hotel changing hands in 2010 significant redevelopment work has taken place in the garden under the careful eye of Tom Coward (who had previously spent three years with Fergus Garrett at Great Dixter).

The gardens surround a wonderful hotel and aren’t available to just wander into, consequently our stay was planned as a special treat – to stay a night and enjoy the gardens as part of the visit.

Exiting through the bar you are greeted with the view above.  The view is north westerly across the flower garden.

The timing of our visit was pretty much perfect with not only the tulips at their peak, but the Azalea Bank too.  And you have to admire the backdrop of remarkable mature trees.IMG_2476IMG_2483

Further absolutely stunning displays surrounded the Flower GardenIMG_2462IMG_2520

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To the south of the Flower Garden is a huge Wildflower Meadow but there wasn’t a great deal to see at this time of year, but there were some lovely poppies!

Walking around to the orchard and then on towards the glasshouses, we passed this glorious sight

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and we weren’t the only ones enjoying it!  Can someone identify it please?IMG_2489

On to the glasshouses and there was a mixture of large scale production, IMG_2492

as well as rather more glamorous endeavours.  Look at these fabulous peaches!IMG_2493IMG_2494

From the glasshouses we entered the astonishing elliptical 1.5 acre Kitchen Garden. Not only is this the first kitchen garden I’ve ever been in that wasn’t square or rectangular, but it’s also on a proper slope – the whole thing slopes really significantly towards the south east.IMG_2496IMG_2502

At the back of the Kitchen Garden we came across this beautiful ‘Allium Gate’. Apparently it was only made three years ago by a local female blacksmith.  I haven’t been able to find out the name of the maker, but isn’t it wonderful?

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All in all it was an amazing garden, so thank you Gravetye Manor, Tom Coward and William Robinson.  Genius!IMG_2501