You Want A Show Garden?

Needed a beauty fix. Don’t mean a facial. Drove along the low winding road that edges along the North side of the South Downs. Fuzzy greenery in every shade. Today the majestic Horse Chestnuts were really noticeable in their big leafed splendour but combined with the shaggy branches of the beech they have at last started to turn the roads of Sussex back into winding tunnels. Yippee. If ever I need a sense of peace, this is all I need to look for. Its my private conceit: Today the South Downs are mine.

Haven’t been to West Dean for a while and was on a mission to the walled garden. The immaculate ordered beauty that it is. It was inspiring. Cordons and espaliers.  Rows of raspberries, beans and lettuce. Clusters of artichokes and rhubarb. There was no scritch scratch of Mr McGreggor’s hoe, instead there was the Brrrr of the petrol hedge trimmers.  Saw a girl in a potting shed around the back where the public aren’t supposed to go but I was being a bit slack footed and dreamy. She politely sent me on my way but not before I caught sight of some pots being loaded up on a trolley. Stuff was happening behind the scenes, the pace is quickening.

Loved the romantic grassy orchard. A higgle of dandy-lion clocks. All allowed to seed within the confines of this perfectly tendered place.  And quite right too.

Two hours of bliss. Retail therapy stretched to a pot of  hyssop, lovage, tarragon and a lemon verbena as I suddenly realised the one I had has not come back.