Monday, 15 August 2011

Home on the Range

Sussex Prairies, near Henfield in West Sussex, is a Mecca for all who love naturalistic planting. The owner/designers, Paul and Pauline McBride, have used all their design experience to create something truly unique for the South East. Having worked with Piet Oudolf in Luxembourg, the McBrides are dedicated to using large drifts of perrenials which require minimum attention. Seedheads are allowed to remain, which not only look beautiful in winter but also provide food for wildlife. The garden plays host to a wide array of sculptures; these enhance the garden and vice versa. There is also a bed and breakfast business on site. Regular events are scheduled, and I would recommend you check out the.Sussex Prairies website for more information.

Here are some of the sculptures scattered around the garden:

'Globe Thistles' by Frances Doherty

'Flying Saucers' by Robin Johnson

'The Bishops Pom Poms' by Frances Doherty

'Cornflowers' by Frances Doherty

Echinacea Heaven

Hopefully my photographs will persuade you to visit Sussex Prairies if you can. Open from Wednesdays to Sundays until October 16th, there will be a warm welcome, thousands of beautiful flowers, and, oh yes, some rather delicious cake! Pauline's Courgette Cake is a real winner, so get there while the courgette season is still going strong!


  1. Oooh now that's a gorgeous garden. Love the planting and fab sculptures.

  2. What a delight to see Martin! The photos look great, what more in person! They've done fantastic job, the planting and drifts of plants looks amazing!

  3. Marin, oh my gosh, this is such a stunning and beautiful garden! Thank you so much for showing it on your blog! I love the concept of planting in drifts and will try to do it more in my own garden, too, but, of course, on a much much smaller scale. The sculptures in this garden are really interesting. The blue 'Globe Thistles' by Frances Doherty are my favorites. Too bad we have been in Hensfield in June, but did not know about this fascinating garden. I guess the only fix for that is that we have to come back to England, to see it. As a matter of fact there is nothing else that I would like to do more!

  4. Holy mackerel! What a beautiful garden! That massive drift of Rudbeckia is so cheering. Would you say this is the peak time to visit Martin? On the basis of your report I am keen to see it up close!


  5. Christina, yes you will have to come back in the fall when Sussex Prairies is probably at its peak!
    Bertie, it's well worth a visit, as is Merriments which is closer to Dixter, and you have to see Parham in West Sussex, which I'll feature here soon. Sussex Prairies should be looking stunning right up until October. Oh yes, you must also go to Marchants in Laughton, East Sussex, which is also prairie in style, and I think the owner knew Christopher Lloyd.

  6. Thanks Martin! I am keen to return to the South East as soon as possible, Sussex Prairies is now top of the 'must-see' list! Will keep an eye out for your Parham report.