Friday, 13 August 2010

“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few.”

 ...

 The blog title is a quote from American poet Emily Dickinson, I think that in the making of Sussex Prairie Garden there has been a lot of revery and rather more than a bee and a clover.

We visited for one of their Open Days last weekend meeting up with our friend Lazy Trollop who has already blogged about it here with very similar photos to the ones I have taken below - although my butterfly is not the same one as hers.


On arriving at the Prairie Garden my first impression was "Oh - a flat field with some bushes!" it doesn't look wildly exciting although the barn at the back of the field looked pretty promising in the homemade cake department. There are some hummocks near the entrance and mounting these (one must always "mount" a hummock") we were instantly engaged with the whole concept.


The garden is designed as a spiral of large flower borders interweaved with some small ponds around the field.  What the flat field lacks in sculptural interest is provided by the fact that you can walk within the borders, where rivers of echinacea, sweeps of verbena boniarensis, tunnels of wild fennel, and spikes of 'red-hot pokers' provide the architecture.


 Wending our way on the paths that wind through the flower beds bought us up close and personal with the flowers and insects that surrounded us.


I absolutely adored the textures and colours of these mass plantings.




For some reason this made us laugh for quite a long time...


This echinacea is doing something a bit strange - any ideas?


And these sheep were a bit out of the ordinary too..


Along with so many others I start to lose interest in my garden in August when everything is past it's best but my pulses quickened with excitement at the fabulous flowers at their peak in the Prairie and inspired me to ensure that I cast a little of this summer magic into my own garden.

We were told that come September/October the grasses were even better so a return visit is called for.

And for those of you who realise the importance of these things - the cakes were excellent!!!!

8 comments:

Drumanagh - Ali O'Connor said...

I think that strange looking flower is an example of a 'hose in hose'.

Ms B said...

Literary show off & good pics. Pfft!

HappyMouffetard said...

It looks beautiful. and I love the Emily Dickinson quote.

the cycling gardener said...

Yes, Yes, YES!!! Thanks Arabella. Love prairie planting. Have checked out opening times and will go in September.

The Constant Gardener said...

could be aster yellows? disease of coneflowers...
http://www.earthcosoiltesting.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=kbase.det&det_id=7

or possibly a fasciation....?

There is one type of coneflower which is a 'hose in hose' type - it's called Doppelganger (or sometimes Double Decker) but it's much prettier than this, with a second tier of purple petals, so probably not what you've got here.

Fabulous, fabulous garden: now going on my shortlist too!

Weeping Sore said...

I love the sheep! I could get to sleep counting brightly colored sheep, instead of boring old white ones. I know what you mean about losing interest when flowers are done, but this is the summer vegetable harvest season for me, so I'm reaping the fruits of my labors.

scottweberpdx said...

What a riot of color and texture...love it...and the Emily Dickinson quote is totally appropriate. That's almost definitely a case of aster yellows, unfortunately.

aspidistra said...

Hi Arabella, I know what you mean about the field feeling. I have this theory that they haven't kind of blended the prairie into the background. When I was there last year, all the fencing around the field was visible, which added to the sense it had been plonked there from outer space.

But lovely owners, great plants, good cake...