|The same opening view as my last visit; in summer this time|
I can't believe it's taken me a couple of months to tell you about my return visit to Great Dixter. You may have guessed something was afoot because I referred to it in my Poppy Appeal post and The Secret of the Erigeron Steps.
That's the thing I find about Great Dixter; it needs more attention than I can write about having a wonderful time. Each visit informs my gardening like no other garden does, which takes more thinking about... which in turn takes time.
Today feels right for a more relaxed wander through the garden, so let's go...
|What a privilege to have Fergus Garrett and many of the Great Dixter team as our guides for the day|
Anyone who joins the team at Great Dixter is encouraged to experiment with the famous pot displays. These are refreshed every couple of weeks or so, and they may also give a clue to planting seen elsewhere in the garden.
This is an experimental border, with some different colours added this year to previous plantings. There was some discussion between Fergus and Rachel on whether this variation was working, how it might change, and the relationship with the blue flowers at the back.
That's what I love about Great Dixter: the constant dialogue about what is and isn't working, the experimentation, and not being afraid to fail. The latter is seen as essential to learning and moving the garden on to greater things
As for us visitors, this border proved to be a marmite one. I was one of the ones who loved it, particularly when placed in contrast with that brooding sky.
Meadows were much in evidence. Jonny told us this one's in its first few years of existence, yet you can see the yellow rattle they've sown is doing a good job, with lots of native of orchids showing themselves already. I particularly liked the pleasing shagginess of the meadow in contrast with the formal clipped hedges and topiary.
A quick pause to swoon over the Long Border. Bamboo canes turn out to be the gardener's friend (here and elsewhere in the garden), either as an invisible staking aid, or as Michael showed us it's used to gently clear plants out of the way when tending the border. It can be quite tricky to move in to replace a plant when the border is so densely packed.
Christopher Lloyd's 'Gardener Cook' ethos is still alive and well with Aaron proudly showing us around the area he looks after. We sampled some of the delicious produce for lunch too. You can read Aaron's blog over at Great Dixter Vegetable Garden.
I'll leave you with this view from the Sunk Garden, one of my favourite stops on the tour.
My thanks to Fergus and the rest of the team who were so welcoming and free with their knowledge and enthusiasm. Fergus invited us to share his reflections on the garden 10 years after Christopher Lloyd's death. It's good to see the garden's in good hands and looking to the future, whilst being mindful of keeping to the spirit of Great Dixter and its most famous inhabitant.
You may also like:
Naomi's yummy photos from the same day and Francine's profile of some of the great people we met.