sussex prairies

After many years of talking about it, we finally decided to take on the frontier and face the long arduous journey to the Sussex prairies.

Our caravan of 11(Phil was off) set out with as is usual in these situations the sun beating down on our necks. And we made our way up to the high plains of the Southdowns’ to meet with Paul and Pauline McBride.

Five minutes later and we were there, looking down on open fields filled with beds of colour, spiraling to the middle like a groovy Scooby doo graphic. Oak trees on the boundary enclosed us in this vast wide-open space, alone apart from the Buffalo sedately grazing the lawns.

Paul and Pauline told us of the history, the how’s, whys and where’s but by now we were all lost in the beauty and longed for greater exploration.

The ever-decreasing circles were made from nursery stock plants in a heady array of combinations, like a designers compendium you are constantly amazed by the same species when presented in a different combination.

Personal favorites were Macleaya cordata, combined with Deschampsia goldtau, Echinopsis ritro and Perovskia and Sedum matrona with Persicaria firecraker.

After a wonderful day when many of us left with plants tucked under our arms from our most congenial guests we retired to the ginger fox to talk further into the night