|The Cutting Garden, filled with colourful blooms in late September|
Although autumn is definitely on the way and the leaves are changing colour here in southern England, there are still gardens worth visiting when the weather is kind - and if you want a day out with a difference this weekend, head for Sarah Raven's Cutting Garden in East Sussex which opens for the NGS on Saturday from 9.30 - 16.00. It's still filled with colour as autumn approaches and well worth a visit if you want to see a real slice of English garden paradise!
|The nectar garden outside the front door of Perch Hill Farm|
Sarah Raven comes from a long line of gardeners and both the farm and the business she runs from Perch Hill, which is home to her "Cutting Garden" are a tribute to her inspirational approach to gardening, cooking and the use of flowers - both as decoration in the garden, and in the home. Daughter of the late John Raven, distinguished botanist and Faith, who created a magical garden at Docwra's Manor in Cambridgeshire, she has created her own little paradise in East Sussex.
|The rose garden|
Hidden down a narrow country lane with passing places, Perch Hill Farm is home to an impressive array of vegetables and flowers that will make most gardeners want to change the way they garden at home. It's a glorious example of how to make a small space work, with colour and variety, as well as a practical layout that is guaranteed to give you flowers in the home and endless fruit and vegetables that you can use when you cook.
|View through the Cutting Garden|
But Sarah's talents don't stop in the garden. She's also a well-known garden author, runs a selection of courses from Perch Hill, has a flourishing mail order business, and teaches cooking and flower arranging. And when she's not here, she's at nearby Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, where she lives with her husband, Adam Nicolson in his ancestral home, as grandson of legendary gardener and author, Vita Sackville-West and Nigel Nicolson.
I've certainly waxed lyrical about The Cutting Garden here, but have every reason to. I've been trying to visit for several months, but have never managed to make an open day, and looking at what's on offer, I for one will be doing some of my Christmas shopping through Sarah's web site. I'm even tempted to do one of the cooking courses on offer next year!