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.