I had a delightful day out last week. First to Uppark, in connection with a possible art project. Uppark is a National Trust house just south of Petersfield, and is notorious for having a serious fire a few years ago. They had almost finished working on the roof repairs… It has now been beautifully restored, and looks magnificent.
Then on to West Dean, which is nearby. I managed to find a route via several hamlets along the base of the South Downs – one of those roads which is probably very ancient, with high banks on either side.
I was delighted to see Greater Stitchwort flowering in the hedgerows, along with the massed dandelions and primroses. For me this plant is the herald of summer – perhaps more than the cuckoo and swallows which have both arrived at Terstan. There is something about the simplicity and purity of Stitchwort which touches my heart every year.
West Dean was looking magnificent and immaculate as ever, with meadows full of fritillaries, and cowslips, pots full of bulbs, trained apple trees in flower and greenhouses full of exotics and flowering pelargoniums. It’s always worth a visit.