Gardens open up

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Lutyens steps

Great Dixter in Northiam opened its gardens to local people over the last two weekends  and what an opportunity it was to revisit such a beautiful place again. The nursery has been open throughout this latest lockdown, but not the full glory of Christopher Lloyd’s gardens, in this hundredth anniversary year of his birth.

Saturday, March 6 was a fine day with lots of sunshine, but a chilly breeze when we visited. Not many people were there, a tribute to the “keep local” messages on Great Dixter’s website and the sensible behaviour of us all wanting to emerge from this endless lockdown as soon as possible and not jeopardise our chances!

Hellebores in bloom

The gardens are in the process of their winter development, with lots of hellebores in flower and the crocuses a carpet of purple and white on the entrance and across the orchards. The exotic garden had inevitably suffered in the recent frosts, but it will bloom again and the bananas will unfurl their leaves from the winter packings.

With many of the beds in the high garden nearly empty, it was possible to see the  patterns of canes laid out on the soil to show where the planting will be.

A real promise of later spring and summer, such a relief after the months of pandemic and lockdown. One last image of the orchard for you all to raise spirits and look forward to the coming year with optimism, the crocus in purple and white.

Great Dixter
Crocus in the orchard

Image Credits: Gillian Roder .

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