greentapestry : A Visit To Great Dixter

Sunday, 4 March 2012

A Visit To Great Dixter

Well here the brief glimpse of spring has well and truly disappeared and we are back into winter. It was just a teasing glimpse of what is to come but most pleasant whilst it lasted. It's not weather to be outside today for although the rain has given way to some sunshine there's a cruel bite in the wind. So I'm staying put by and large today and catching up with indoor tasks. I have been looking back on last years photos deleting the blurry and almost identical ones as I go. 2011 was whirling by until I got to September. Prompted by a recent comment by Laura over at Patiopatch in response to this post and realising that I did not blog about our visit to Great Dixter in Kent in the middle of September, I thought that a post was well overdue. In fact it has been most remiss of me not to post about a most magical day.

Where to start? Great Dixter and Sissinghurst have both been gardens that I have wanted to visit for longer than I care to remember. My previous encounters with the fair county of Kent had been fleeting glimpses through train windows, en route to holiday destinations in France, so I was most excited when we booked last year to spend a week in a cottage in Kent. Finally I thought a chance to visit these renowned gardens. As it turned out we got to Great Dixter but not to Sissinghurst. What can I say as I think that it has all been said before by far more eloquent writers and it must also be one of the world's most photographed gardens and houses ~ 

What I will say is that this long waited for visit more than lived up to my expectations. The weather obliged, the planting was sublime and for once I was just as much taken with the house as with the garden. Oh and the delicious chocolate cake we munched sitting outside was an experience in itself. Great Dixter was timeless, tranquil, exciting, colourful and unpretentious and very much a living garden.

Another of the collections of pots for Laura ~ 

Since our visit I have been reading Christopher Lloyd's books with renewed enthusiasm and understanding. I also treated myself to 'Dear Christo - Memories of Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter' in which his family and friends describe in writing and photos what Great Dixter means to them. In the words of the introduction the book is "a reminder that each of us takes away something different from a visit to Great Dixter and that it remains with us long after we have left the gates."


  1. Great to know you had such a good time. I'm hoping to get to Dixter this summer. Your photos have whetted my appetite.

  2. I am also hoping to get to Dixter this summer!
    So it is wonderful to see this post about it, and I am looking forward to it even more.

    I really like the arrangement of pots in your last picture

  3. It looks wonderful. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed your visit as it's so often the case that something we've longed for doesn't quite live up to our expectations.

  4. One day I'd like to see Dixter too... and Sissinghurst, Kew and a whole long list of other gardens! The photos are lovely, and presented so well. Great post!

  5. Looks like a magical visit. September is one of my favourite months; the light is so beautiful. Ah....dreams of gardens to keep us going until the "real" spring hits - in 15 more days! :)

  6. I reckon you probably chose the best time of year to visit (or so I've been told).

    Lucky you, I've never been. One of these days...

  7. Anna:
    A wonderful post on an iconoclastic garden and gardener. Few rival Christopher Lloyd! His brilliance with plants, planting, and his much missed voice as a garden writer. I am so happy that you were able to visit the garden and that the weather agreed! Now you have Sissinghust to look forward to! I envy you the fabulous gardens of the United Kingdom! One day!

  8. Lovely glimpse of warmer brighter days - and a garden that I would very much like to visit myself too.
    Sara x

  9. At last I can comment - been trying since yesterday, the comments box kept disappearing!! Really enjoyed this post - I too have intended to visit Great Dixter and Sissinghurst for years, and not got there yet! Lovely photos, and I'm even more determined to visit this year.

  10. hard not to be snap happy in such a garden Anna but you've put together a lovely set of montages. Likie the way you've set the garden against the house in many of the shots and that gives us virtual visitors a real taster of the Dixter dish. Thanks so much for the potted areas pics - its an art putting an ensemble together without looking like the potting shed. Look out for future pics of my attempts ;)


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