Sussex Prairies brought to mind a wild and windswept scene of colourful, meadow grasses in naturalistic setting like the US Prairies of Arizona. Well, I was not disappointed! BALI‘s jamboree to this well-kept secret was a designer’s delight offering a wealth of inspiration.
The owners and designers, Paul & Pauline McBride were themselves inspired by Piet Oudolf after working with him on a project in Luxembourg and managed to acquire much of their stock on maintenance visits. Just four years ago, they transformed a portion of Pauline’s parents farm into a sensual feast of colour and texture with swathes of densely planted grasses and perennials including: Miscanthus, Calamagrostis, Pennisetum, Stipa, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Echinops, Echinacea, Astilbe, Verbena, Aster, Sedum, Foeniculum – oh, too many to mention, which get the Sussex equivalent of The Chelsea Chop, burnt to a cinder in February each year and then mulched with green waste compost in time for another brilliant show to begin for summer. That is why they are only open to the public from June – mid October, but it is well worth the visit.