The Smell of Summer Grass is based partly on the long out of print 'Perch Hill'. It is the story of the years spent in finding and building a personal Arcadia, sometimes a dream, sometimes a nightmare, by writer Adam Nicolson and his wife, cook and gardener, Sarah Raven.
Adam Nicolson was determined to leave metropolitan life but the rundown farm in the Sussex Weald was not quite what he bargained for. The scenery was breathtaking and the rural neighbours charming but the hard end of real farming life was another matter - mud, cold, planning regulations and unco-operative livestock.
But for the reader the whole enterprise is full of delight thanks to Adam Nicolson's writing: frank, witty and touching, it is a testament to the importance of holding on to your dreams and turning them into reality.
'Candid, observant and often very funny' Daily Mail
'A delightful memoir - a reminder that the very best writing starts at home' Robert McCrum, Observer
Praise for ‘Sissinghurst’:
‘A masterpiece of rural romanticism, told with shameless lyricism…the vision is one of nature, art and human history in glorious coalition…uplifting.’ Sunday Times
‘Unusual, impassioned and lucidly written…a gripping but serious history of Sissinghurst Castle.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Excellent. A clear-eyed picture…beautiful.’ Guardian
‘A wonderful book.’ Financial Times
‘An expert at conveying the “stuff” of place, Nicolson is equally good with people…as Adam Nicolson understands, places tell us about the people who walked them and the dreams they pursued’ TLS