Thursday, April 04, 2013

Great Dixter

Following on from our blog post last week about our bloggers day out to Great Dixter, here's our tour round the gardens and grounds. 


The original house at Dixter, Northiam, which dates from the mid 15th century, was acquired by Christopher Lloyd's father, Nathaniel in 1909. In the photo above the porch and building to the right hand side are the older section. Nathaniel had a 16th century house in a similar style moved from Benenden, Kent and the two buildings were combined with new work by the architect Edwin Lutyens to create a much larger house, which was then rechristened Great Dixter. 



The Lloyd family surrounded the house with landscaped gardens which were made famous by Christo, who gardened and wrote his many books from here.

The grounds are full of interesting features, I loved the archway.

As part of the day we were given a guided tour of the grounds, here we are with the great house as a backdrop.

In keeping with the age and style of the house the gardens are packed with topiary.



The vegetable garden has a number of ancient apple trees. covered in lichens. 


The ground in the long border is covered with perennials and flowers even at this early stage of the year. Successional planting ensures there is interest all year in the garden.
The lawns adjacent to the long border are also packed with early spring colour.

Daphniphyllum macropodum
Helleborus 'Anna's Red' 
Sunken pond and garden next to the great barn
Great Dixter is also well known for the exotic garden. Created by Christopher Lloyd who famously ripped out a traditional rose garden. The straw is protecting a number of Musa basjoo. Hopefully we will get to visit again later this year and see this packed with tropical plants.
Great Dixter is very much a working estate, and in the Great Barn Simon has a wood workshop. Working timber from the estate grounds, Simon creates a number of items for sale to visitors.



The barn, as well as a working space, is also beautiful in its own right. It dates back over 500 years, and has recently had some renovations to replace rotten and damaged timbers.



As well as the house and gardens, there is also a delightful nursery on site, selling many of the same plants you can find growing in the garden.



Sempervivums growing on the roof in the nursery.
Begonia luxurians
It was great to get a sneak preview to the gardens before it opened to the public, it has really whetted our appetite for this famous garden. We are planning to return in the summer to see the garden in its full glory - and those bananas without their straw protection.

Gaz 

41 comments :

  1. Thanks for identifying the Hellebore. I googled it as soon as I got home and found Anna Pavord's delightful piece from The Indy on how it was named for her :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi VP its a lovely Helebore, hopefully we can track one down.

      Delete
  2. I love Great Dixter, looks like you had a great day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alison, it was a lovely day, a little on the cold side but at least it was nice and sunny.

      Delete
  3. such a photogenic place! and so interesting to see the exotic garden in its winter sleep....those straw wigwams look very sculptural

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They look great dont they, maybe one year we will do that with our bananas

      Delete
  4. The lawn with crocuses is beautiful, and what an marvelous picture about sempervivums on the roof, love it ! Greeting from Finland, we've still a bit snow :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it, the semps on the roof looked lovely.

      Delete
  5. Wonderful!

    Those straw towers are certainly much nicer to look at than some Musa protection I've seen. And while I'm not the biggest fan of topiary I certainly enjoyed these examples.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The protection was very sculptural. We also liked the topiary. It was interesting to hear that in one of the areas with a lot of topiary they let the grass grow into a wild flower meadow. Which looked stunning in the photo but many more traditional visitors complained in the past that they were not on top of the mowing!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for this cool tour! It was great to see the exotic garden hibernatng as I've only seen images of it in full glory!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed sharing our visit

      Delete
  7. Hello! I love your blog and your incredible garden!!!! and I´m so happy to discover this garden, I'll try to visit it on May when I´ll go to London. I can´t wait to see the exotic garden!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get to visit, although I dont think their Exotic Garden will be particularly established in May.

      Delete
    2. Thanks!! it´s good to know!

      Delete
  8. Wonderful, what a day. Really interesting to see the garden before she goes out dancing. I do hope you can return in summer to see GD in it's full glory.
    Paul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so Paul, looking forward to getting back.

      Delete
  9. OMG...the old buildings are so amazing...would love to visit someday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The house really is beautiful, it is difficult to spot the join for the 1910 extension.

      Delete
  10. I have actually never seen spring pictures of this garden... Come to think of it, the Exotic Garden is so famous that it always seems to represent the garden, photographed at its peak in late summer. I love the Sempervivums on the roof, especially since Sempervivums are among the few plants I can keep permanently on my outside windowsill here, between winter cold and heat and drought in the summer when I am travelling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed the photos of the garden CG

      Delete
  11. Goodness me a serious blog outing - would like to have joined in with that. Lovely Dixter. Marc and Gaz I am inviting you to join in with #Terrifying Tuesday next week. Post a garden related image that can take any shape or form that is vaguely disquieting. Even better, get 10 more people to join the bandwagon!

    ReplyDelete
  12. NEVER try and type late at night! The above should read #Terrified Tuesday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hehe :) Thanks for that Catharine.

      Delete
  13. Gaz, thanks for the tour through the gardens of Great Dixter! I love, love, love the way they do the topiaries and hedges there. It house itself is also very beautiful. I am just in awe of its age.
    Christina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its a fabulous house, I would love to spend a lot more time in the garden and house in the future.

      Delete
  14. Oh, oh, oh, it's all too beautiful - it hurts!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Imagine growing up in that environment! I love the Anna's Red Hellebore! I did not even know red ones existed! I am going to check the internet to see if I can find me one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Annas Red is a stunner. We first saw it at the RHS Spring show last year, although the stand selling them had sold out by the time we inquired.

      Delete
  16. Beautiful! Wow on the lawn, and that ancient apple tree is incredible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isnt the old apple just so photogenic? Well the whole garden is really.

      Delete
  17. Hi Mark and Gaz, Your gorgeous images take me straight back to the gardens and the great day we spent there. Lovely to have met you and looking forward to going back to the gardens as much as possible this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was great to meet you too, we had not been to Dixter before but will make sure we get back to see it in its full glory later in the year.

      Delete
  18. What a treat to see this famous garden in what might be considered the "off season". Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Mark and Gaz, I've not been to Great Dixter, but it is a place I want to visit and so I appreciate the out-of-season tour, especially because of the lack of other people in the photos. I'm not a fan of topiary, but the picture you took of it made me chuckle. I like the picture of all those potted, labelled plants, getting ready for sale outside the greenhouse too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sunil, having seen it out of the main season and been impressed I'm sure it will be fabulous later in the year.

      Delete
  20. Love the topiary and the crocus! Jeannine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed the tour Jeannine

      Delete
  21. Beautiful architecture, to both house and garden. I am not normally a fan of topiary, but it is so in keeping with the style and period of the house, it just looks right. The barn is amazing, what a wonderful environment to work in. I will really look forward to your visit later in the summer so that I can see the exotic borders through your eyes.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to reply to our post, we love reading comments and hearing your views.

Due to the increased level of spam, please note comments on older posts are moderated and only published after approval. All new comments are read and any spam is deleted.