Monday, 31 October 2011


After a hurried picnic in the back of the car (Pimms o’clock, we were on holiday!) we dashed off to Great Dixter, just a fifteen minute drive from Sissinghurst but back over the border from Kent into East Sussex. Upon entering the garden we were stuck immediately by how full and floriferous the borders were, even compared to when I last witnessed this spectacle in August. There is undoubtedly no rush to put the garden to bed here, and in fact some areas had been completely replanted. In a year such as this when the autumn is so unseasonably warm this tactic is repaid tenfold, and it was an incredible joy to see a garden singing so loudly at the back end of the season! Speaking for myself, as a gardener I derive absolutely no pleasure from chopping down plants in autumn. The winter is such a cruel and bitter time and this act seems so blasted defeatist, as we commit ourselves to flat bleakness for months on end. Dixter seem to me set against winter, and I for one applaud their efforts to wring every last drop of colour and interest out of the border displays!

The manor, with grass. This trip, and in particular the visit to Dixter, has got me interested in grasses

View to the manor with Aster lateriflorus var. horizontalis and the giant blooms of Dahlia ‘Emory Paul’ behind

A jungle of beauty in the High Garden!

Tagetes ‘Cinnabar’, backed by Anaphalis triplinervis

The tropics? No, it’s East Sussex!

More of Dahlia ‘Emory Paul’, crammed into the Exotic Garden

The Long Border, still exciting

Action shot, with some Teasel looking delightful in death

Eryngium pandanifolium 'Physic Purple', this must surely look spectacular as standing dead

Fergus the head gardener, hard at it in the shed sterilising compost for the Dixter potting mix!


Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

The plumes in the second shot are stunning. And then add in the topiary turkeys, D. 'Emory Paul' and the aster... just amazing.

Is it unusual for a head gardener to do heavy labor like Mr. Garrett? It shows his love and enthusiasm, I think.

And regarding your last comment at WMG, I could not quite hear you. I have too many hoods over my ears to make it out.

Janet said...

The long border looks inspirational. I would expect nothing less from Great Dixter with their reputation. Good to see Fregus mucking in. Is there a big machine for sterilising the compost?

Anonymous said...

Lovley pictures as always Bertie, thanks for sharing them with us:o)

Anonymous said...

We share your joy! The exuberance of Dixter takes the sting out of the close of the growing year. Emory Paul is a favorite....sadly I was digging dahlias out of the ground this week. Though, geting them ready for a long winter's snooze is a rewarding project!

Prue said...

Oh Bertie! What a trip!

This is stirring fond memories because I used to live in Kent.
Sissinghurst was my favorite, with it's gardens within a garden and the beautiful warm-coloured brick buildings.
Great Dixter too, although I know that less well.

Lovely pictures - especially the rich colour of the Tagetes, and the Eryngium is fantastic!

Bertie Bainbridge said...

What ho all just back on the blog after a training course!

Julie I think it depends on the garden how much labour the head gardener will do, but there's no doubt Fergus' drive and energy is unusual!

Janet the machine is a fiery beast, and flames were seen billowing at one point! Another chap has to work at the other end shifting the sterilised compost.


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