Ok, so I’m eking out my visit to East Sussex, but we have to talk about Dungeness, my favourite of all the places we visited during our holiday, if you haven’t visited already you must go.
Set in the shadow of a looming nuclear power station and a lighthouse that throws a beam for 17 miles Dungeness is bleak, eerie place and enticingly unusual. Its flat, barren landscape exposes an enormous expanse of sky and it’s ever growing shingle beach scattered with the remains of abandoned boats and fishing paraphernalia is one of the largest in Europe. The arid landscape, fuelled by battering winds during winter and persistent sunshine through summer make it the UK’s only desert.
It’s a uniquely strange place.
Despite this, Dungeness is home to a unique variety of wildlife and a fair few people too, most famously the late Derek Jarman whose modest little fisherman’s hut Prospect Cottage, famed for it’s beautifully crafted garden is host to a huge range of rare and beautiful wildflowers, all planted by Jarman.
On the Subject of Derek Jarman’s wildflowers, I received an amazing gift from my friend H this week. Perhaps because I had been banging on about the wonders of Dungeness whilst never actually getting around to writing a blog post about it, or perhaps (and more likely!) because she’s brilliant, I now have some Californian poppy seeds to sew in my garden this spring, so although I did not see Dungeness in all it’s wildflower glory, I’ll have a little bit of Dungeness in my garden this summer, and hopefully summers to follow!