Saturday, August 7, 2010

Very, very excited

I'm just back from visiting the Chilli Fiesta, an event B and I have intended to go to for ages. But but but... although it was great fun, the big thing for me was the location. PLEASE click on the pictures to enlarge them - I can't find a way to make this page set-up show them any bigger and they look far better at a larger scale.

West Dean College ( which teaches arts and crafts, has amazing gardens. It's a big estate now run as a charitable trust, over 6,000 acres in total, 90 of them near the house. There's a park with lots of fine old trees, and a walled garden with a huge range of glasshouses, loads of trained fruit trees, vegetables of course, flowers grown for cutting, and two main colour-themed borders. I was blown away - by the extent of it all, the care, the passionate thoroughness everywhere. The borders were exceptional - I liked them far more than anything at Wisley. There was also a huge pergola, which when I looked the place up later on the web I read was designed by Harold Peto in about 1900 and is 300 feet long - it feels it! I took loads of pictures as you can imagine but it was terribly crowded. So here are a few as a taster, and I will sort them out and post the best I can manage ASAP, but B and I agreed we would go again some time when there's no event on to have a better look round.


  1. I love West Dean - and this time of the year it looks wonderful. I love the way they coordinate the colours in the borders in the kitchen garden with the colours of the vegetable foliage. And did you see the handwritten labels? Amazing attention to detail.

  2. We spent relatively little time looking at the vegetables - the glasshouses had me mesmerised, and of course there was all the stuff for the chilli festival itself. I'm looking forward to seeing it with fewer people and clearer lines of sight. Yes, I've got a photo of a lovely plant lable :)

  3. Thank you for the lovely rave about West Dean. I went to the site, got side-tracked by their tomato competition and have ended up being determined to grow nice tasty heritage tomatoes this summer!

  4. Goodness, those are beautiful pics! I wish I could have zoomed over there! Oh to be independently wealthy. Thanks for the link. It will be fun to explore. Do you have any more pics to post?

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  6. I find photos like these exciting because, not only are they lovely in their own right, they emphasise the approach of autumn. (Best season!)



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