Sunday, 1 June 2014

Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Estate (Shipley, West Sussex) 2014


June 1st, Sunday, the sun shines high in a brilliantly blue sky, and flowers and bees and birds and people all bask in its warmth. Beneath the long-gazing windows of a 19th century castle, a unique congregation forms on the open grassland of the lawns and gentle parkland. 
Vintage cars cruise down the long approach, and military men tip their caps, and wink, to land army girls.  
Stands and stalls sprawl across the lawns, overflowing with beautiful wares, freshly cut flowers and scented blooms, and triangular bunting blows. Terracotta pots and grandfather's tools, an old apple crate and a handful of well thumbed books, local honey and sticky cakes. Beneath the sheltering arms of an ancient oak, ice-cream lures the sun-tired folk. 
A base drum is calling, the dancers gather in mask and tatter-coats: there's mystery in the air.  With a cry they launch, turn and spiral, weaving in the musical air mystic tales and stories old. 
The parkland rolls away with gentle ease, to the lake side where aspen trees rustle in the breeze and sedge warblers chatter in the reeds. Picnic rugs, sun-baskers and shade-seekers colonise the grassland, dotted like the patches of clover are, from the tents to the waters edge.
A curious wander through the wild strawberries that low between the flag stones grow, finds a warm sun-caressed spot behind a red brick wall, where the air is filled with bee-song and scent of blowsy blooms, and over head a cloud of Martins twitters as it zooms. The first sweet peas climb their canes, the first are always the sweetest sight, and soft petalled roses lounge sleepily amongst love-in-the-mist and astrantia. 
Or beside the conforting walls of the castle-house, pick a daisy from the lawn, sit back against the trunk of a grand cedar tree and gaze, like the castle's blind windows, across a scene of meadowland and reflective lake, and pen poems of a time the wind once played with petticoats and parasols and children's laughter.

That same laughter echoes to your secret spot, from the roaming space beyond the ha-ha, and in the far blue distance where the buzzards soar, the world is bordered by hazy, slumbering downs. 



















More photos can be seen at www.facebook.com/SophiEcoWild 
Copyright Sophie-May Lewis (SophiEco Wild)

1 comment:

  1. You have captured the day perfectly, Sophie, well done, beautiful!

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