Willow visits Sarah Raven at Perch Hill

Last week I spent an intoxicatingly special time at Perch Hill, the celebrated garden and home of Sarah Raven and her writer husband, Adam Nicholson.  I had to keep pinching myself that I was really there, experiencing a garden that has always been a pinnacle of flower magic for me.

Sarah Raven Garden at Perch HIll

Two inspiring days of teaching, giving floristry demos, home-grown feasts, being immersed in exquisite gardens and inspirational conversations with Sarah...  I’d been told time and time again about the brilliance and beauty of Perch Hill but waking up there that first morning (I'd arrived in the dark the night before), I was actually speechless.  The colours, the airiness, the planting combinations; it was like stepping into a horticultural apparition.  Towering spires of delphiniums and cornflowers stood among perfect roses in rainbows of soft peaches to vibrant corals, dusty plums to candy floss pinks. Cascading sweet peas and shimmering poppies. Words cannot do any of it justice, but I hope my photos will give you an idea of the magic. 

Sweet peas and Perch Hill Garden

At the end of our first day, Adam and Sarah whisked me off to see the gardens at Sissinghurst Castle where Adam grew up.  Now owned by the National Trust, it is where his grandparents, Harold Nicholson and Vita Sackville West created one of the world’s great gardens. Superlatives cannot explain the beauty of the place - the ravishing pink garden, the extraordinary Greek garden, and the part I am still dreaming most about is the white garden which shimmered so unforgettably in the June evening light.