The annual Great Dixter Christmas Fair went ahead on December 12 and 13 in spite of the dreaded coronavirus. The gardens and nursery were open in the fresh air and the stalls were in the garden buildings and barns surrounding the house and it was such a happy event after all the trials and tribulations of 2020.
Bookable slots kept the number of people under control and the wide expanse of the gardens made social distancing very easy. The stoic, well wrapped up, stall holders were doing well on the Saturday, as the weather was reasonable warm and it was not raining – but not at all sure what happened on Sunday when the weather was so awful.
No hot toddy this year, but a good cup of tea or coffee was available in the loggia, and it was a delight to see it open alongside the shop, with a special festive arrangement at the entrance and a wonderful table of produce in the nursery.
There were quite a number of different stalls, some familiar and some less so from past years. The cart shed had beautiful Christmas arrangements and refurbished tools, a garden fork one of my purchases, and the hovel, a building in between the still flourishing exotic garden and the topiary lawn, housed the handmade candles and some beautiful French pottery.
The entrance had the willow weaver, and one of the cats that live around the nursery and kiosk was firmly curled up in one of them (see photos below). So comfy. The baskets were absolutely lovely, and there were also willow balls and shapes to enhance any garden.
It was just such a relief to meet old friends and chat in the wide open spaces. A lot of the visitors were wearing masks, too, and so were the stall holders, so it felt really safe. Having it outside the house was a very pleasant change, but so weather dependant. Here’s hoping the fair did well for both stall holders and the Great Dixter Charitable Trust. Enjoyable? Oh yes!
Image Credits: Gillian Roder .