Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Great Dixter

In amongst all this construction and earth moving I gave myself a treat, long promised, to visit the fabulous gardens by Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter. It's only an hour away from here, but I have never found the time to go before. I went with Annie Mowll, and sans children - although we agreed afterwards that it is a magical garden that children would love exploring. Because we had to be back in Faversham by 3 we got there really early -the nursery opens an hour before the gardens, so we mooched around looking at the beautifully laid out specimens and glimpsing views to the house beyond. We had a chance to enjoy a coffee and cake in total solitude before the hoards arrived, a real treat.

One of my overwhelming experiences of the garden is that it is truly a work in progress, not a museum piece. Christopher Lloyd worked very closely with his head gardener Fergus to keep it fluid and since Christopher's death it is still always changing and moving forward. The gardens are laid out in amongst formal yew hedging and topiary but are not at all formal themselves - the only straight lines were in the kitchen gardens - even the buildings have wobbly edges - as with this amazing barn roof.

Another striking and well known feature of Christopher Lloyd's planting is the riotous mix of colours, none more so that in the huge collections of potted plants by the front door and on various terraces, I'm not sure I am brave enough.

1 comment:

johnbro52 said...

Great Dixter was a great favourite of Granny (& Grandpa) Creek. And I even have some hazy memories of it myself. I will try to look out for some old snaps.

Looks like your own efforts have the makings of a Great Digster too!