• paeony,tulips

    Perch Hill Perfection

    9th May 2018Places to VisitStephanie 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.



    Tulip Ballerina, Narcissus Thalia and White Honesty


    Young paeony foliage is a perfect foil for this pale apricot tulip

    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.

    potting shed

    Last seen at the Chelsea Flower Show

    It’s All in the Detail

    floral curtain

    The floral theme continues with the curtain in the loo


    A collection of pots in a shady spot next to the back door 

    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.

    table display

    The tables in the barn have been designed to hold small vases to display flowers from the garden


    water feature

    The decorative water cistern constantly overflows with water that is then recirculated