The garden at Great Dixter, Christopher Lloyd’s house, garden and nursery at Northiam, is being reorganised and planted up for the spring, ready for the opening of the property in March 2018.
Fergus Garrett, the Head Gardener and Chief Executive of the charitable trust that now owns Great Dixter, always tells people that winter and early spring is one of the busiest times of the year there. There are no paying visitors until March, so Fergus is leading the refreshing of the garden with the gardeners, nursery staff and the horticultural students, to put in place all the background work and planting plans. Without all this planning, there would be no beautiful results to excite visitors for the rest of the year.
This is also a period when the education of the students in design and planting gives them a living experience of horticulture. There are regular meetings to work through new planting plans and find areas for improvement, when all the garden staff contribute. This means that suggestions made and the plantings in place will be seen by all the staff, as well as the visitors, from seeds to final flourish.
The garden is showing the first signs of spring. The snowdrops are flowering along the entrance driveway and tiny fragile crocus are just beginning to poke through the grass at the front of the house. The pots are in place and the border is planted up neatly. Spring is a lovely awakening time at Great Dixter, and as the year progresses, it will become its exuberant best. The nursery is open all through the year with mail orders now going out, and the shop has a website if anyone wants to buy from there.
For the opening times, go to the website. It will give you all the information you need, including house opening times. Groups are welcome, with prior booking, and Great Dixter is well known for its courses and study days – information on all of these is on the same site. The house, garden and nursery look forward to seeing you.
Photo: Gillian Roder
Image Credits: Gillian Roder .