Beyond the boundary of the Blackdown in West Sussex lie gentle copses amid tall oaks, and meadows with views to the South Downs. A finger tip forage at the right time of year reveals finely feathered ferns. Furled fern heads hug tight like curled sleeping dormice, while unfurled fronds reach outwards with similar delight to sleepy dormice waking with a stretch and deep yawn. Near this wondrous landscape lies the village of Fernhurst in the High Weald. Is it any wonder these environs inspired the magical rug Fernhurst by Melissa Wyndham for Robert Stephenson Handmade Carpets?
Great design invites unique and individual associations in each viewer. Your scribe prefers to imagine a ramble through branch and bracken followed by a scootch into a snug at a local pub. But those who like classic cartoons and melodramas may see not ferns, but rows of waxed and curled handlebar moustaches as sported by Dick Dastardly and Snidely K Whiplash, as well as by the top hat and cape wearing cads and bounders popular in early silent films.
But if like your scribe you are resolute Fernhurst is bucolic rather than dastardly, then pair it with Weald by Melissa Wyndham and let your mind wander to a part of England that has inspired artists and designers for hundreds of years. DJ