A spring visit to Great Dixter

I am not certain I have visited Great Dixter in the spring previously.  I know I have been in summer and late summer, but I cannot remember being there so early in the year.  I love visiting gardens at different times in the year, their character changes and particularly in the spring, you can see the bones of the garden.  A good garden has good bones.
I had gone to Dixter on the excuse of visiting the Plant Fair (like I need an excuse) and to meet up with some friends.  On arrival the field where I had to park was rather muddy and I started to get that anxious about being stuck feeling.  I hate my car getting stuck.  There was loads of hay around to keep the ground stable and a huge team in high-vis jackets directing cars to where they should park.  The organisation was impressive.  I was waved into my parking spot by Fergus Garrett.  Yes, Fergus Garret, if you ever want proof that someone is a true team player then there could be no greater proof.  He is probably one of the greatest living gardeners and custodian of one of the greatest UK gardens (if not the world she says in a Clarksonian tone).  I might have parked with my mouth open in awe.

The fair itself is not huge but has stalls of great quality.  I wandered around the stalls looking and thinking.  Then I moved up to the Dixter nursery, carefully walking up and down each section of plants.

Dear reader, before we go any further I have to confess to not buying any plants.  The reasons for this are complex as it was not because there were not any good plants to buy, there were, lots.  I have actually bought quite a few plants recently, so I might have been a bit short of of inspiration.
I moved on into the garden, where inspiration just reaches up and smacks you hard around the face.   The lawns as you enter are full of these beautiful spring flowers.
The famous front door pot collection is full of conifers and evergreens.  Now you all know that I always say I dislike conifers.  Damn you Great Dixter gardeners, damn you damn you, this looks just amazing!  I sighed crossly to myself at my own lack of vision and moved on.
As mentioned above this is a time of year to look at the bones of a garden.  Dixter is known for its topiary, and the hedges take centre stage at this time of year even more than usual.
The dark green of the hedge sets off the planting in front of them perfectly.
I loved this gaggle of peacocks with benches inbetween.  Last time I was at Dixter I had bench envy and they were selling them in the shop.  Sadly there were none on sale this time as I would have snapped one up snickety-snack.
Look at the firey new growth on this tree, its so beautiful.
and I also stopped and gazed at the flowering wall.  I love how old walls look with plants spilling out of them.
As you would expect the Exotic Garden is still mainly under wraps.
But look at this meadow of fritillaria and daffodils, it is just so beautiful and simple.  The best ideas are often simple.  I heard a passing person mention that it was clearly a garden to see in spring and indeed it is.
There is colour everywhere,
and even the long border is looking full despite the early time of year.  If I compared it to my scrappy looking borders I hang my head in shame.

There is more, much more to Dixter, but these were the highlights of my visit.

Friends were found, we had tea and icecream and laughed and talked and laughed a lot.  It was just such a good day.  One that I will remember and smile about for some time to come.

Related posts to this visit:

Scotney Castle

The Walled Nursery


  1. Lovely p0st! You should see it now - it is TOTES MAZEBALLS.

  2. It’s beautiful, all those fritillaries in the grass-I’d love to see those. The exotic plants look like Triffids!

  3. Must make an effort to go back soon as haven’t been there since a bloggers meet years ago...

    1. It really is looking wonderful - you need to return :)

  4. But but no plants bought! Does not compute! System error.


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