Gravtye Manor is the former home of the gardener William Robinson, author of The English Flower Garden and The Wild Garden. Robinson introduced the idea of naturalised planting – the concept of allowing nature to flow in the garden, challenging the usual practice of planting formal gardens with set borders.
Robinson, who bought the manor in 1884, put his wild gardening theories into practice in the garden and many of his naturalised bulbs can still be seen today. The more formally arranged flower garden surrounds the manor, with the wild garden spreading out from the edges, including the orchard and meadow. Since 2010 the aim has been to both conserve and re-create Robinson’s work as well as progressing the garden, in homage to his style.
At this time of year the contrast of the burnt orange helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ sitting alongside the white romneya coulteri ‘Californian Tree Poppy’ is really charming. The Kitchen Garden is a wonderful sight, with all sorts of exciting fruit, vegetables and herbs being grown, which are all used in the kitchen and served in the restaurant.
The garden has such character and whether you are sitting in the formal garden having afternoon tea, or taking a stroll further afield after lunch, it is a really special experience.
Green dress: Vintage Gina Fratini; Shoes: Office.
Photography: Sarah Bray
Photographed at Gravetye Manor.