One of the most glorious things about leaving a standard 9-5 job to pursue several odd jobs, is the occasional Free Day. These days seem to creep up on you and so I found myself on an unexpected day out with my dearest Mother, who whisked me away down the A272. (The necessary days between these lovely, unscripted days are far more plentiful and are the sorts of days where you think you might not have much to do but you find yourself still working past bedtime). Our first stop was at Nutbourne Nurseries, owned and run by Gary and Jenny Griffiths. I wish I could show you more of this place than just my one photo (I lost most due to an iPhone breakdown) and a link to a map. One of the things I enjoy most in life is talking with people who are deeply knowledgable and passionate about something – anything! You can learn such a huge amount from such people, and spending an hour walking round the greenhouses in-between the triffid-like tomato plants with Gary was a real honour. The care, thought, and (really) hard work that goes into producing the variety, quality and quantity of tomatoes at Nutbourne is astounding. We were given a Tescos bag (ironically, as they represent the antithesis of the small, local grower) stuffed full of tomato “seconds” that were to my eye, perfect.
Drooling over thoughts of tomato tarts and grilled tomatoes on toast, we made our way towards the Sussex Prairies Garden. I shall just say a few words about my Mum, who made this day so enjoyable, and is really an excellent and inspiring woman. Firstly, she does actually have a name, and that is Mary Stevenson. Secondly she loves plants and the world around them and runs a garden design business called Mary Stevenson Garden Design (we both seem to favour basic names for businesses). Thirdly, she is the best person to walk round a garden with. Sussex Prairies Garden is beautiful.