Perch Hill Perfection9th May 2018 • Places to Visit • Stephanie Donaldson
It is always a treat to go to one of Sarah Raven’s Open Days at Perch Hill, near Brightling in East Sussex. The spring opening happened to coincide with a beautiful, warm and sunny day, which added to the pleasure. Over the years I have watched this garden evolve from quite modest beginnings to the impressive place it is today. Sarah is constantly experimenting with new varieties of flowers and innovative planting combinations, so a visit is much more than a pleasant experience – it is endlessly inspiring. I defy anyone to leave without a few packets of seeds, or a plant or two to emulate something seen in her garden. It was the white honesty (Lunaria) that was the hit this time as far as I was concerned. Purple honesty does well in my garden, as does the perennial honesty Lunaria rediviva so I’m fairly confident that it will grow in my garden. It is a seed that likes to be left to its own devices, so most have been scattered, with just a few sown in a pot as insurance, although in my experience they do not transplant well.
A new addition at Perch Hill is a rustic shed/summerhouse/potting area that I recognise from Sarah’s show garden at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show, that she designed in collaboration with interior designer Tricia Guild. I would love to have space for something like it in my own garden. Aah well, one can but dream.
It’s All in the Detail
Sarah Raven has a fantastic eye for detail so everything from the table top arrangement of plants next to the backdoor to the curtain in the loo has been thought about – lots more inspiration here.