Tag Archives: Great Dixter

Yearly round up – 2015

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2015 was the first time I’d planted dozens of tulips directly in the Swing Beds, having previously faffed about planting them in pots and then moving them in and out.  And, in classic gardening happenstance, they didn’t flower as I’d planned at all!  The tulips I’d planted as mids, ‘Pink Impression’ (above) flowered first, and on their own, and then these were followed by (supposedly) April flowering ‘Mistress’ and May flowering ‘Menton’ flowering together (below). The whole show was an absolute joy.

This year I’ve planted more tulips, but in the two new beds, so time will tell as to how perennial these three in the Swing Beds out to be.IMG_7022

As well as the tulips I also planted more Alliums.  I found the new Alliums ‘Violet Beauty’, a little disappointing, but the extra A. Purple Sensation I added, were fabulous as ever.IMG_7231

And the Diving Lady got a new, early bath in the form of Iris reticulata ‘Blue Note’.

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As well as new bulbs, 2016 saw the creation of two new beds, firstly the ‘Mid Century Bed’, below, named after the lovely metal structure the OH bought me for my big birthday.

The theme was supposed to be bruised, purply colours, but, as with the bulbs, there was a welcome ‘mistake’ to enjoy in the form of this Ranunculus, theoretically ‘Purple Heart’, but I rather think not.IMG_7715

I planted some roses for this new bed too, including R. Jubilee Celebration (no, not very bruised either!)IMG_7967

and Rosa ‘Falstaff Climbing’ to grow up the obelisk, but the plant that really stole the climbing show this year was the ‘Rhodochiton atrosanguineus‘.

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The second new bed has a bronze or orangey theme.

 

Many of the plants were grown from seed, including this Nasturtium ‘Caribbean Crush’ and the beautiful grass Hordeum Jubatum.IMG_8240IMG_7930

There was another new rose here too, R. Pat Austin.IMG_8906

And later in the year the ridiculously floriferous Dahlia ‘Happy Singe Date’.  This just went on and on and formed the basis of numerous peachy vases of flowers.

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In June I opened the garden for the third time as part of a village group opening, in aid of the island’s Earl Mountbatten hospice.  I had over 150 visitors and some lovely comments.IMG_7889

Also in 2015 I was lucky enough to visit numerous gardens both on and off the island, including the Sir Harold Hillier garden in February (and again in August)IMG_0411

Arundel Castle in May,IMG_7089

Mottistone Manor in June,IMG_7677

Osborne House in (March and) August

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and Great Dixter IMG_9124

and Bodnant in October.2015-10-29 11.28.44 HDR

As well as my own garden and garden visiting, I dipped in and out of Cathy’s lovely ‘In  a vase on Monday’ meme, including sharing the saga of the wedding flowers 

as well as this group of vases created in October when the OH became captain of his golf club.IMG_9349

And, on the basis that it’s a very rare gardener that ever stops learning, I went on courses at Great Dixter, Common Farm Flowers and West Dean.  And then, to top it all, in September signed up for a Level 3 course in Plants and Planting Design at Capel Manor college, which I’m absolutely loving.  Which reminds me, I really need to get on with my holiday homework!

Wishing you and yours a fabulous, flowery 2016, and thank you so much for supporting Duver Diary with your views, likes and comments.

Photography at Great Dixter

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Monday found me at Great Dixter attending The Gardens Illustrated Garden Photography workshop with Jason Ingram.

Jason is a regular contributor to Gardens Illustrated, and his opening talk and slide show exhibited his talent with some stunning images.  A number demonstrated an approach where he shot into the very early, or even pre dawn, light to wonderful effect.  Clearly it was too late in the day to try the same at Great Dixter, and, probably also too late to become an early bird (when I’m not), but it was certainly an inspirational talk and we were then all let loose in the gardens to try our photographic hand.

To those of you unfamiliar with Great Dixter, it was bought in 1910 by Nathaniel and Daisy Lloyd who employed Edwin Lutyens to restore and remodel the house, including buying and moving a timber framed house from its original location nine miles away.

Development of the garden also had significant input from Lutyens and areas such as the High Garden, Rose Garden and Long Border which he envisaged, remain in place today.  Nathaniel enjoyed topiary and there are numerous examples in the garden still.  Indeed, the peacocks below are two of many in an entire area known as the peacock lawn.IMG_8992

However, the gardens at Great Dixter became really well known only once Christopher Lloyd, the Lloyd’s youngest child, became involved.  His first book ‘The Mixed Border in the Modern Garden’ (1957) described this new way of planting, and he used his experiences and experiments at Great Dixter to inform his writing through his entire life.

As time went on he became synonymous with both successional planting and also bold planting, and although Christopher Lloyd died in 2006, his style of planting continues under the stewardship of his head gardener Fergus Garrett and the Great Dixter Charitable Trust.

I was never in any doubt that the garden would still be looking good in October as it is well known not only for late colour (particularly from dahlias), but also, as mentioned above, successional planting. There was no way the garden would be allowed to ‘tail off’ this early in the year.  And even if the plants weren’t at their best, beautiful colour is provided in so many views by the warm, russet tones of the house itself.IMG_9281

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There were magnificent pots, both large

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and small.  (Coincidentally, this beautiful Nerine Sarniensis also featured on The Blooming Garden this week).

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And as well as the flower gardens, there was bountiful vegIMG_8986

including astonishing squashes on 10 foot high compost heaps, requiring ladders to reach them!IMG_8980

and of course the nursery, where sadly, the thought of a taxi ride and four trains rather put me off any purchasing, but there was plenty to admire.
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So, thank you Great Dixter.  As I’ve thought before, sometimes I find find your exuberance just a little too much, but boy, was there plenty to photograph.IMG_9109