This blog post speaks for itself. It is a tribute to one of England's most beautiful gardens, Great Dixter. I can safely say it is the most inspirational place I've visited in England. It is a orgy of colour, texture and form and one runs out of superlatives to describe its beauty.
Yesterday I drove to Great Dixter with a friend. I have always wanted to go so it was with great excitement that I drove down there. Great Dixter was the family home of gardener and gardening write Christopher Lloyd who wrote over 40 books and articles. He died 10 years ago and the house is now under the stewardship of head gardener Fergus Garrett and the Great Dixter Charitable Trust. Great Dixter is not just an historic house but a magnificent garden, a centre of education and a place of pilgrimage for horticulturists from across the world.
As you walk up the path towards the house with wild flower meadow, cow parsley and ancient fruit trees either side you can see the crooked character of the entrance porch.
To the right is the sunken garden which is a blaze of colour, textures and forms. There is a lilly pond in the centre and narrow paths around the perimeter with barely space to pass. Actually the gardens are full of these narrow paths which you can barely see for the plant growth.
We had a long chat with one of the students working on the garden. He said the ethos for the planting is undulation and this is apparent everywhere. Also they aim for different textures and forms and mix up the colours as you can see from the images. He also said that they use pots to create displays which can be moved about to create different displays or replaced when the flowers are past their best. This is a very useful tip for any gardener. Here are some of the displays that are done purely with pots (hard to believe!)
The plants grow so high that you can barely see over them but the house peeks over the top from every angle.
The house and outbuildings are simply stunning - interesting chimneys, tiled roofs, rafters etc
In front of the house are more wild flower meadows with narrow mown or brick paths and ancient trees.
What I love most is the informal planting of mixed colours
And finally a few close-ups of flowers that caught my eye
If you have the chance to visit Great Dixter I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I ran out of superlatives by the time we left !!
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Day 4 on the 13th August, less than a week after my previous day out, started as an invite from my sister and husband to go to Great Dixter with them. It’s a favourite garden of ours which I try and visit every year. Given that it’s a fair schlep to Great Dixter, my sister identified three churches that we could visit in the vicinity before lunch. Great Dixter is in Sussex close to the Kent border but the three churches we visited were all in Kent:
I was really starting to enjoy these days out on my own with my camera so decided to venture back into Sussex a week after the previous trip, armed with another list of churches. I’m always tempted to include a stop at Charleston House or Monks House given my passion for anything Bloomsbury Group and this time the temptation was too strong when I found myself within a few miles of Monks House.
If you read my previous blog post, Visiting Churches in Sussex (day 1), you will know that I am doing day trips to Sussex in search of the little churches often found in woodland, at the end of lanes, in hamlets or villages – steeped in history. I’ve focused on Sussex as it’s not too far to travel by car and it’s a beautiful county. The first day trip was 9th July.
I decided not to have a summer holiday this year and instead do day trips to Sussex which is only about 80-90 minutes from home, on my own with my DSLR camera for company. I wanted to focus on visiting historic little Sussex churches in obscure places. I’ve done four of these day trips so far and I have another planned for this week.
I’ve focused on churches with historic interest, be it for their age (some as old as 9th century), their features or even their setting. I have been the only person at every church I’ve visited so far as these are off the beaten track for tourists. That was one of their attractions for me. I could have visited large churches, cathedrals or castles in towns where there would be loads of visitors but I find crowds of people so unappealing.
We are in mid winter here in London. Temperatures plummeted a week or so ago and we barely reach 6 Celsius most days. However I won’t complain as when it’s so cold there is less of the debilitating grey skies and more of blue skies and sunshine which really do elevate the spirits.
Monday 21 January was Blue Monday the most depressing day of the year. What a load of twaddle, isn’t it?! Why would you identify a day as the most depressing? Most of us stuck two fingers up at Blue Monday, smiled and got on with our lives.
January started with a vengeance from a work perspective so I’ve had no time to feel the post Christmas blues. And I have a trip to Sydney to look forward to in a few weeks - family, sun, sand and sea and loads of oysters and Riesling!
Between a lot of client meetings and client work at home, I managed to squeeze in some outings. First up, a day of sourcing for clients started with a visit to the Decorative Fair in Battersea Park with an interiors friend. I enjoy a wander around the stalls as they are all so beautifully styled but everything is eyewateringly expensive!
This post is for all you garden lovers. If you are lucky enough to live in London you have the chance to see the gardens of Petersham House, the home of the owners of Petersham Nurseries, Gael and Francesco Boglione. Their home is adjacent to the Nurseries and is a stunning Georgian house with extensive gardens, swimming pool and tennis court. They have a substantial vegetable garden which is used for the restaurant in the Nurseries.
This week has been action packed. I’m furiously trying to finish a two-bedroom flat which the owners want to put on the market asap (they are moving out of London and already put in an offer on a house).
Sorry for my radio silence since my last post on 31 October - in the run up to Christmas I was manically busy with client work and in January I headed to Sydney for five weeks.
I thought I'd kick off with one of the highlights of my Sydney sojourn - the coastal walk from South Coogee (where I was staying) to Bondi, a distance of about 10k with some of the most spectacular scenery. I did this walk last year with a friend but this time it was just me, my iPhone and my DSLR. The weather was cloudy, windy and about 26C so perfect for a long walk.
A couple of weeks ago a friend and I went to Charleston, the home of the Bloomsbury Group, to do a lampshade painting workshop with Cressida Bell who is the talented artist granddaughter of the artist Vanessa Bell and daughter of Quentin Bell. I wonder if you are as passionate about the Bloomsbury Group as I am? I devour books about them and have often visited Charleston, Berwick, Firle and Monk's House.