Do these plants get high on arias? The planting in the borders at Glyndebourne is in the exuberant category. Grounded in the lovely bones of ha-ha and paths and steps of brick, the shrubs and flowers seem to spring out of the beds and hurry about. The energy is added to by the huge view out to the Downs and terrific slabs of mature yew hedging which anchor dancing patches of of shimmering grasses.
The tree ferns are on the march through the hostas. Ready to stomp off and join a Wagnerian chorus. The gardeners are not afraid to wield the knife and both indian bean and trees of heaven have been given heavy pollarding. The result is the exotic look of exaggerated leaf size. A good foil to mediterranean lovelies like Echium pininana which throws a giant flower spike 3 metres tall.
The opera house at Glyndebourne has the Cunning little Vixen on the menu for the evening and everyone is there early, strolling in the gardens, people watching and opening picnic hampers. It is not all about picnicing in the balmy Sussex evening but the pleasure of sitting under a a cascade of euphorbias, salvias and foxtail lilies cannot be undermined. The plants look bigger, lusher and more jungly than their counterparts elsewhere. Could it be the music seeping out of the practice rooms, hummed in the interval by the visitors. Roared by the baritone right into the bowl of the hills at mid-day?