We are big fans of Sarah Raven. We buy seeds and bulbs from her every year, and though they are a little more expensive than from a garden centre, we’ve found (through trial and error) that it’s worth paying the extra. Her plants, seeds and bulbs are always the best quality and they come with really precise information and instructions. Plus, we like her selection. It’s really helpful, when buying plants, to have an expert lead you in the right direction and let you know what works where. Cosmos? We love them. How great then to be able to choose Raven’s favourite for both their looks and success rate. Lettuce? She’ll give you the three best to grow in winter, and the most delicious selection for the rest of the year. And so on. We’ve always wanted to do one of the day-courses she runs at her home, Perch Hill (she also lives at Sissinghurst, which has one of the most sublime gardens in the UK, as she is married to owner Adam Nicholson), but have never managed to make it to East Sussex at the right time. So we’re delighted that she’s coming to London later this month to do a lecture at the Garden Museum.
The talk, which starts at noon, is 45 minutes long, so perfect to fit into a lunch break, and is about growing a cutting garden (i.e. flowers that look wonderful in your garden, but are also perfect to cut – the flowers then grow again – and put into a vase), with Raven sharing tips from her many years of experience. We’ve just booked our tickets now. Plus, the Garden Museum is a lovely place to visit, with a good cafe, and it hosts a great programme of events. We are particularly keen on the idea of the London garden visits – such as the roof gardens of the V&A and Kensington Palace Gardens – led by the designers themselves. They are pricey at £115 each, but they last a whole day, lunch and tea are included, and you’ll get amazing insights into some of London’s loveliest public and private gardens.