Saturday, 3 October 2015

Grand Tour - Great Dixter

It rained all morning, while we were shown around Christopher Lloyd's garden at Great Dixter.  We were taken through the garden by one of the most delightful young ladies you can possibly imagine.  Her name is Rachel, and she is one of the senior gardeners at GD.  Her enthusiasm for the garden, the way in which it is gardened (keeping the spirit of Christopher Lloyd going by Head Gardener Fergus Garrett) and her passion for the plants and everything about the place, was totally irresistible.  I just loved her.  She stood in the pouring rain with a big smile on her face, enthusing about everything.  A very inspiring young lady, who made sure we enjoyed our soggy tour around the garden.
You can learn more about Great Dixter here http://www.greatdixter.co.uk  It's a beautiful house, a significant part of which was designed by Edwin Lutyens, around 1911, and seamlessly tacked on to a 15th century house.  
The early autumn garden is full of interest, with lots of colour, beautiful seedheads, and Great Dixter is absolutely crammed with plants!  If things want to self-seed, they are allowed to get on with it, which gives the planting a lovely loose feeling, abundant and generous.

I loved this mix of fig leaves and the wild clematis, traveller's joy - or old man's beard, as I have always known it.
The exotic garden was positively tropical!  It was hard to imagine we were in East Sussex with banana palms and tropical plants touring over our heads, and dripping raindrops down our necks!
Great Dixter is also known for its use of planting in flowerpots.  The arrangements are redesigned every three weeks or so, which keeps things fresh and interesting.
Finally the sun came out, and I went round the garden again.  What a glorious place!

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