If you read a lot of gardening blogs, you may have noticed that there’s been a flurry of posts on Great Dixter recently. That’s because the garden invited bloggers to an open day last week. (What do you call a group of bloggers? A bevvy? An annoyance?…) We all behaved in exactly the same way: we briefly said hello to people we’d known previously only by their blog name, and then whipped out our cameras and notebooks and started snapping and scribbling away. I know for a fact that Michelle over at Veg Plotting took these very same pics. She’s probably writing exactly the same blog post too.
I love Great Dixter. Its Edwin Lutyens layout (yew topiary and garden rooms) may be eternal, but the planting is ever changing, in the spirit of the late Christopher Lloyd who gardened there for years. It’s now in the very safe hands of Fergus Garrett, to whom I could, quite frankly, listen to for hours as he divulges his secrets to Dixter’s legendary plant combinations.
The first time I visited Dixter, I was struck by the beautiful pot display at the entrance to the house. It was the first time I’d seen so many containers grouped together – I was used to seeing a few tiddly pots of geraniums standing feebly outside front doors. I rushed home and tried to emulate the exact same look on my balcony.
Fergus told us that the display is refreshed every two or three weeks from the end of March until October. It’s often put together by Dixter’s students, who then move on to helping make bigger decisions about borders and bedding displays.
Fergus explains that Christo was very generous with his gardening knowledge, and that he continues in the same spirit with his students. ‘You give someone everything in the hope that they will give everything to someone else,’ he says. And that’s what I love about gardeners – I’ve yet to meet one who isn’t more than happy to share everything they know.