Colours of Summer

12 August 2009

After a very promising start, our summer has become a rather familiar story – it already feels quite autumnal in fact – nonetheless, we’re trying to make the most of it and I wanted to share some summery images that I took at Sarah Raven’s garden a few weeks ago.

I’ve written about this beautiful place beforeSarah is an acclaimed writer and broadcaster on gardening and food. As well as writing books and appearing on TV and radio programmes, she is busy running various courses at her Perch Hill farm in East Sussex.

It was one of the coldest months when I visited the farm last time, so I was really looking forward to going back when everything was in bloom. Not only to see the garden again, but I was happy to be there for my friend’s special occasion – I was honoured both to attend and be asked to take photos of my friend Bea’s wedding – she has been working as the head gardener at the farm so it was a natural choice of venue for her wedding.

I knew the garden would look lovely and abundant at this time of year, but I just swooned at its sheer beauty as I stepped in. With so many colours and shapes everywhere, it is literally a gardener’s paradise.

I always take my hat off when I talk to Bea about gardening (she is my great mentor on the subject) – her knowledge and love of nature is inspiring and she often makes me think that anyone could be a happy person if you just spend a little time growing things…

On my last visit, I remember Bea lovingly telling Shalimar and me about her boyfriend Mark – we tried not to be too nosy :) but are really happy for them to be together. It was a real shame that Shalimar couldn’t make it to the wedding, but I hope we can meet up for another celebration sometime soon.

Bea looked really beautiful in her wedding dress, although I must say that I love seeing her in her wellies covered in mud too :)

After the lovely wedding ceremony in Brighton, we headed to Perch Hill for the reception. It was very relaxed and down to earth – I knew Bea wanted an unfussy, casual atmosphere and everyone felt comfortable and had a great time.

The beautiful Indian tent was decorated with flowers from the garden – we enjoyed a fantastic hog roast (it was a whole hog AND hogget actually) and Sarah and her team prepared many delicious dishes using their own home-grown vegetables.

Meeting with Bea’s family was lovely too – they flew from Hungary and it was nice to see how close she is to them, especially her younger sister, Linda. (as an expat myself, I know how much she misses her family) Linda is a talented violinist, and played some beautiful tunes for us at the wedding.

As I type this, a huge box arrived on my door step – I realised it was from Bea when I opened it – the box was packed with beautiful flowers from the garden which filled the house with a heavenly scent. She sent them to say thank you to me for photographing the day – you can guess how happy I was, and will be so while I’m surrounding by them…

I seriously recommend visiting the garden if you’re in the area – they are not open every day, but they have some great courses (how exciting Yotam is teaching next month!). I’m hoping to go back sometime soon, but if you have a chance to visit, please say hi to Bea for me :)

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  • i absolutely love your photography.

    Posted by Flory | 12 August 2009 #
  • Youre pictures are so beautiful!!! thank you sharing…

    Posted by Dominique (de vous à moi...) | 12 August 2009 #
  • What a beautiful post on colours of summer! :) I just got married and my husband and I will be going to the UK in September for our honeymoon . Looking forward to another sets of colours. Your posts will guide me all across the Kingdom. Thank you Keiko.:)

    Posted by Nur Suraya | 13 August 2009 #
  • Oh wow! What a breathtaking garden. And I loved the reception tent. I think I want my own to look exactly like that one!

    Posted by Alejandra | 13 August 2009 #
  • Its always a pleasure to visit your blog. I think you spend a wonderful time together, sarahs garden looks like paradise.

    Posted by Anja | 13 August 2009 #
  • Stunning as ever, Keiko.

    Posted by Monkey Gland | 13 August 2009 #
  • Like if I were in this garden, just the nice scent missing !
    Really like this picture with the dew/raindrop on it !

    Posted by Vanille | 14 August 2009 #
  • Well done Keiko! Weddings are not easy to photograph and you did a beautiful job for your friend. Bea must be very pleased with the results. Living in Germany I know what you mean about short-lived summers with those bright teasing beginnings. But on the positive side, I think it is better to photograph in overcast conditions. Makes for a softer light, no?

    Posted by Doris | 14 August 2009 #
  • what a breath of fresh air. your beautiful photos makes us all appreciate all nature has to offer. thank you!

    Posted by rick | 14 August 2009 #
  • my hair standing and I am actually crying… for Bea and Mark and for such wonderful friendship..

    Bea has introduced me to that place and I am always been so enchanted. She also made me love so many vegetables which I hated so much..

    Keiko this is fabulous. I am so touched with this post because Bea is one of my greatest friend and so are you…

    Posted by shalimar | 14 August 2009 #
  • Hi there, thank you so much for all your kind notes.

    Nur Suraya – hope you have a wonderful time, congratulations!

    Alejandra – the tent was lovely, lots of vibrant colours :)

    Doris – I totally agree about overcast days :) Hope you’re enjoying a lovely summer.

    Shalimar – It really was a shame you couldn’t make it, but we’ll catch up very soon! Take care. xx

    Posted by keiko | 14 August 2009 #
  • Awesome, awesome photos. The dew drops and the gates are particularly good. The gates into the meadow could start a storybook.

    Posted by Kim | 14 August 2009 #
  • Glad you had a fabulous time at the wedding. Your pictures are beautiful – as usual. :)

    Posted by celiaK | 14 August 2009 #
  • How lovely to see this. I’d been following Sarah’s series in the Telegraph about getting the garden adn vegetables ready for the wedding and then also visited the garden for the open day in July. We saw some of the flower ball decorations Sarah had done for the wedding.
    I think ew may have spoke to Bea on that open day and I did wonder that she wasn’t off on a honeymoon.
    So having vicariously enjoyed Bea’s wedding, it’s so lovely to see the pictures.
    I’m hoping to go back to the garden at the end of August for the open day then.

    Posted by Jo | 15 August 2009 #
  • You…again. Why? I’m a sucker for beauty and your photos make me thank God I can appreciate beauty in all its ramifications. I found your blog looking for recipes with Matcha many months ago, I’ve stayed.

    Posted by Ozoz | 16 August 2009 #
  • such beautiful images keiko!

    Posted by Aran | 18 August 2009 #
  • So lovely to see your posts. I simply adore the pciture of the purple sweet peas with the purple podded peas. I’ll be planting the same next spring

    Posted by paula | 18 August 2009 #
  • dearest keiko, what a sight for sore eyes! exquisite, really, how you’ve so vividly captured the beauty of the garden. i am two left thumbs when it comes to gardening…the very opposite of having a green thumb, really ;-)

    Posted by Joycelyn | 20 August 2009 #
  • Hi Keiko,
    it’s been a while but i’ ve been busy (carreerchange…), but i still love your site.
    I enjoy so much those beautifull pictures.
    Keep up the good work!


    Posted by Shanna | 24 August 2009 #
  • Keiko, Ive been visiting often but have nt commented. Your pictures are breathtaking indeed!It does make me hold my breath while looking at them and then I feel so …..funnily sad/happy .:)

    Posted by zurin | 26 August 2009 #
  • My dear Keiko…I am speechless. I keep looking at these over and over again! Such a great wedding! I have fond memories of Brighton one summer many years ago. Gorgeous color palette!

    Posted by Helen - Tartelette | 27 August 2009 #
  • Hi Keiko! Your pictures are great… as always… no words left :)

    Posted by chiara.u | 29 August 2009 #
  • That first shot with the blue container, AMAZING. As they all are to follow as well. Beautiful garden, exceptional pictures!! A dream to float on! I think all my favorite gardens are in England….although my humble little garden in my yard is pretty nice too :) -Chris Ann

    Posted by LoveFeast Table | 29 August 2009 #
  • A friend sent me to see this post and she was right – very, very awesome. Great job of catching the laughter with the little kid at the door.

    Posted by Lee | 31 August 2009 #
  • Oh, Bea got married?? I met her this summer when a group of us were visiting Perch Hill and she was such a lovely lady with a serious knack for gardening as Perch Hill was all I had anticipated and more! Her wedding bouquet is just what I would imagine it to be. Lovely photos and so glad you shared the story! I took some photos of Perch Hill too while I was there in July. Have a look:

    Posted by Jennie | 4 September 2009 #
  • You always manage to capture such beautiful colours in your photographs. This post is stunning.

    Posted by Kirsten | 5 September 2009 #
  • i can almost smell the flowers…

    Posted by Jackie | 6 October 2009 #

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