episode 20 | show notes & advice
As we finally begin to emerge from a year of restrictions with a degree of optimism and warmer weather, now is the time to explore the length and breadth of our own British Isles, from the Scilly Isles to the Outer Hebrides, Pembrokeshire to County Down. For many, the likes of familiar old favourites Sissinghurst and Chatsworth will undoubtedly be on the cards, with romantic rose gardens and marvellous displays filling every corner with colour.
For this episode of ‘grow, cook, eat, arrange’, Sarah and Arthur take us on their ideal road trips around the country, offering up suggestions for an exciting tour of your own to discover natural beauty, flora and fauna, and even a recommendation for a good gin.
in this episode, discover...
- Sissinghurst Castle Garden and their beautiful rose garden and mixture of Tudor redbrick buildings with a romantic mix of plants within the walls.
- Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top with it’s rolling wooded hills and valleys filled with loose planting that attracted animals for her drawings.
- Rousham House & Gardens with their gorgeous free-range hens welcoming a delighted Arthur on arrival and the unique wildness to their gardens, veg and herbs.
- Chatsworth House & Gardens for the most productive and experimental garden Sarah and Arthur have visited; leading the way in the cut flower movement and showcasing stunning ways to companion plant.
- Sarah’s wildflower walk in Cornwall from Kynance Cove to The Lizard, running alongside the coast and Pentreath beach; the blue of the sea to one side, and fields carpeted by exotic and rare Cornish wildflowers to the other.
- The most western point of British Isles in the Outer Hebrides with its pure white sands and extraordinary mix of rare orchids.
- Arthur’s favourite visit to Chester Zoo with their own gin created on site, incredible conservation work and fields of feed grown for their animals.
links and references
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Sarah and Arthur's favourite places to visit this summer
Sarah and Arthur go on a series of road trips in their huge awayday teaching purple van.
First port of call — Sissinghurst for the White Garden and Rose Garden, in celebration of Vita Sackville-West’s romantic planting style.
• Cram every chink, nook and cranny and use vertical spires next to domes, for example, foxgloves with roses, like minarets to balance the dome of a mosque.
Second place to visit - Beatrix Potter Garden at the Hill Top farmhouse in Cumbria
And their third recommendation — Rousham in Oxfordshire
The house, used in the recent BBC series, ‘The Pursuit of Love’, has Millefleurs Bantams for Arthur and fantastic veg in the walled garden. There is a sweet pea hazel avenue and huge dahlia beds for both Sarah and Arthur, and the world-famous William Kent designed rill (small stream).
Number 4 Chatsworth (in Derbyshire) Particularly the kitchen garden and farmyard, as well as the new landscapes designed by Dan Pearson and Tom Stuart-Smith. This is a place for at least a weekend visit. There’s so much to see, one day is not enough.
Number 5 Wildflower walk
Kynance Cove to The Lizard, for an incredible mix and abundance of rarities and more usual drifts of charming pink thrift.
Number 6 Outer Hebrides westernmost coast, or Barra, South and North Uist and Lewis Walk as far along this coast as you can through the machair wild gardens.
Number 7 Chester Zoo – one of Arthur’s favourite places
It’s a huge zoo (the largest zoo in the UK), with brilliant, natural enclosures for all their animals and birds. Arthur loves everything from the orangutans and flamingos to the Chester Zoo gin.