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Sussex Prairie Gardens


This garden is about twenty miles North of where we live in West Sussex, yet we had not visited here until yesterday. The six acre garden is in the fertile Wealden plains of West Sussex, planted in a naturalistic style and is surrounded by mature Oak trees.
It is a style of planting involving the use of flowering plants and grasses that have a close relationship in form, foliage and simplicity of flower, with their native or non native counterparts. This garden uses very free flowing generous groupings of plants which not only give impact and structure but which lend a very romantic feel to the whole.

Visitors are encouraged to walk right into the flower beds and enjoy the plants close up, so come on in! …

Smile at the selection of wonderful bird boxes …

I thought this was one was cute …

Within a few minutes walk we were in a little woodland area, heard this one before we saw the sign …

I really wasn’t sure what to expect to see in mid September, especially after a poor Summer, but this was so inviting! …

The biscuit coloured grass below is Deschampia ‘Goldtau’ and here is where you discover just how tactile grasses are … they just have to be touched! …

Pathways have been created enabling visitors to walk right in … what a novel thing to be able to do … really liked this

Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ on a grand scale … makes my own look tiny …

Panicum ‘Shenandoah’ …

Some beautiful plants lie within …

Giant Artichokes …

Wood carvings were around the garden … with an obvious prairie theme …

Here are some of the many herbaceous perennials in all their glory … Persicaria ‘September Spires’ was widely planted around the garden …

Lots of yellow tones on a grand scale … Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’

Copper shades on Helenium ‘Kupferzwerg’ …

Moving in the breeze … Miscanthus ‘Malepartus’

as was this Molinia ‘Heidebraut’

Some more Panicum ‘Shenandoah’ …

Walking out of the borders now …

I hope this shows the scale of the grass and borders …

Some more delightful plants …

Verbena Bonariensis … lovely colour …

Gorgeous colour on this Salvia …

Pink and frothy …

There was so much of interest to see … I do hope you are staying with me on this rather long walk round!

Bee hives which one gentleman swore were not real … he should have read the sign! …

I spotted some Bullrushes and realised there is a small pond and plants suitable for bogs …

Not all the plants and grasses are tall …

but what an impact the taller ones make …

If you managed to stay along for the tour of this unique garden, I thank you and hope you enjoyed it!

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Yes, enjoyed your blog very much Shirley, so thank YOU for sharing your visit to such an unusual garden!

22 Sep, 2015


The grasses are lovely but the Rudbeckias are amazing - what a fantastic sight! Its difficult to raise enough willpower to do mass planting like that, even if you have room, which most of us haven't, but it really is impressive. The sedums were good too - reminded me of another blog 0 was it Rose? with a pretty bed of pink and white sedums.

22 Sep, 2015


Sheila, try to visit it if you come down South next year. We found it very calming, there is also a 'Cutting Garden' and a lovely seating area to take tea and admire the view.

Stera, I have looked at photos on-line of this garden and it looks spectacular in early August with the colourful perennials. Shall have to return next year methinks :o)

22 Sep, 2015


Beautiful Shirley, lovely, thanks for sharing. Carol Klein visited a prairie garden on gardeners world about 3 weeks ago, wonder if it is the same place.

22 Sep, 2015


This must have given you so many lovely surprises as you wandered around. It is a really unusual garden, with many fascinating features.
Thanks for these very interesting and different photos.

22 Sep, 2015


Dawn, it was the same place as mention was made of it on a poster within the garden. I missed that episode so must find it on 'catch-up', thanks for reminding me!

Chris, it really was so different to any other garden I have visited, in a good way! I asked a chap who was working in the 'Cutting Garden' what a certain plant was, he told me and I realised when we got home that he was the owner! A very pleasant Scotsman :o)

22 Sep, 2015


Thought it was Shirley. I must watch on catch up again too.

22 Sep, 2015


What a wonderful place,Shirley,and I'm amazed you haven't discovered it before now..I love all the grasses and blocks of colour,especially the Purple Sedum,and Rudbeckia..If I did that with my Sedum,it would cover the lot! Lol Thank you for sharing with us..just beautiful :o)

22 Sep, 2015


Episode 23 Shirley :-)

22 Sep, 2015


Wow Shirley ! That was fantastic ! It must have taken you all day to walk round ! I can't decide which part was my favourite as it was all amazing ! I loved all the group planting of the Rudbeckias and ALL the grasses !
Thank you for sharing and at least your camera didn't pack up this time ! lol

23 Sep, 2015


Lovely, Shirley.I think I shall have to visit there, particularly for ideas with the grasses and planting companions. I have Pannicum Shenandoah (Switchgrass)which has been flowering beautifully for weeks now but it hasn't turned as red as these in your photo.
Lovely blog...thanks.whereabouts in Sussex is it,roughly, which towns is it near?

23 Sep, 2015


Sandra, it's the usual story of not visiting what's right on your doorstep isn't it?

Dawn, I have just watched the clip of episode 23 with Carole at this garden and the colours when she visited were fantastic! Apparently a drone was applied to film the scenes above the garden, just brilliant!

Rose, if you Google BBC gardeners world, episode 23, you will see what I mean about the planting of this garden, just wonderful!

Paul, I hoped you would see this as I know you're using lots of grasses in your new garden. I think the garden is open until end of October, it's near Henfield which is in the Horsham District, 33 miles South of London. Visit for more info. :o)

23 Sep, 2015


It is amazing Shirley.....absolutely lovely. We have family in East Sussex so I will take note of this garden. Thanks.

23 Sep, 2015


It's definitely a garden to visit, Linda, why we haven't been there until now I don't know!

23 Sep, 2015


Very enjoyable visit Shirley, thank you for thinking of us all when visiting this garden, and sharing the pleasure.

23 Sep, 2015


I forgot to admire the post box nest box - great!

23 Sep, 2015


Thanks Shirley.
Yes, I saw the photo u put up a few days ago too. So I googled more images of the gardens.I shall have to add to my list, maybe for next year)
We are planning to revisit Beth Chatto's garden in the next week or so.

24 Sep, 2015


What a lovely place I loved all the birdhouses on the wall and the grasses are amazing.
Thank you for posting Shirley. Maybe I do not need to go to England to "garden hop" I can see them here in people's posts. What a treat.

24 Sep, 2015


What a wonderful place! I'm so glad l came along. The bird houses are fantastic! When I got to the Rudbeckia Goldsturm I literally said 'wow!' The sight really was amazing. I'm never likely to be able to visit Sussex Priory Gardens so thank you for giving me a glimpse of it.

24 Sep, 2015


Really enjoyed the tour. Thanks

24 Sep, 2015


Thanks everyone for your comments. I received my copy of the RHS magazine yesterday and one article features Persicarias planted at these gardens ... interesting reading about them.

26 Sep, 2015


Good blog, Shirley, with lovely pics. and wonderful blue skies :o)

27 Sep, 2015


Thanks Terra, we are enjoying some lovely sunny days, bit chilly in the evenings though.

28 Sep, 2015


Being a fan of grasses this garden has been on my to visit list for some time, I am so glad it lived up to my expectations, and that you enjoyed it too, visiting large gardens is going to be very difficult for me now, because my knees have gone west!! so I am going to have to rely on other people to do it for me lol:-[ ??✋so a big thanks Shirley for this great blog...

9 Oct, 2015


Oh no Angela, poor you with your knees! I think if we had gone there a month earlier we would have seen more colour on the perennials, some were going to seed on our visit. Definitely one to visit in the Summer next year. Remember, keep upright, no getting down on those knees! :o)

9 Oct, 2015


Ha ha!!

9 Oct, 2015

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