Saturday, 30 September 2017

Sussex Prairie - a garden to immerse yourself in

Paul and Pauline McBride created a prairie garden in a field on the family farm in Henfield, Sussex. It is one of the most stunning examples of prairie planting I've ever visited. With large swathes of planting, waves perennials interespersed with drifts of grasses, the combination of colours, textures and shapes is incredibly beautiful.
The grasses are probably at their best now, in autumn. The plants will be left to form seedheads into the winter and provide food for birds, then early next year the whole lot is burned, ready for regeneration the next season.
Sussex Prairie Garden is set over 8 acres with wide curved beds, with bark chip paths running through the middle of each so that you can get right up close to the plants. This you will want to do - the grass fronds, cobwebby or soft like cat's fur, are immensely touchable.
Also contained within the garden is a teashop with excellent homemade cake (courgette, mango and lemon drizzle, sticky toffee...) and a shop selling many of the plants from the garden and also sourced elsewhere. Many of these are quite rare and not your run-of-the-mill garden centre cultivars, so well worth a look.



Sussex Prairie is open 6 days a week (closed Tuesdays) from 1.00pm-5.00pm until October 15th. It's an RHS partner garden so RHS members go in free, otherwise it's £7.00 for adults, £3.50 for children.











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