Great Dixter held its Spring Plant Fair on Saturday April 7 and Sunday April 8. The house and gardens were also opened to the public again, on Good Friday March 30, after the long, cold winter break, and will remain so until the end of October.
Twenty three nurseries were represented, including Great Dixter itself. In spite of the cold weather conditions this winter, there was a wonderful display of plants across the field, and a really busy atmosphere. The pictures tell that story. The weather was fine on Saturday, when more than 1,000 people went through the gates, but the wet weather on Sunday caused parking problems, with some areas too wet to use.
Throughout the two days, the plantsmen gave regular specialist talks, with a hand bell rung to call the audience. There was a programme for this, as always, but it inevitably changed according to the weather and the amount of customers at their stalls.
Always a great way to welcome the new planting season, the serious plant buyers duly arrived early on Saturday. People were seen leaving the field with boxes and bags of plants to take home and improve their borders. Because this Fair has specialist nurseries, it is possible to get very unusual specimens and much more variety than is found in a garden centre.
The cake stall and the hot dog stand did a roaring trade, all the cakes being made by Dixter friends and the lamb and pork sausages were just what was needed after a busy time plant hunting!
The programme for the year’s events, opening times and prices for the house and garden are all up to date on the website. The accuracy of the information on any other website is not guaranteed.
Photo: Gillian Roder