greentapestry : Zooming In On Great Dixter

Saturday 9 May 2020

Zooming In On Great Dixter

Until recently the word zoom only came into my vocabulary when I was thinking or talking cameras. However like many of you Zoom has now permeated my consciousness as a cloud-based video conference service enabling you to virtually meet up with others. It wasn't until this week that I actually used it and in fact have now had two successful Zoom experiences within a few days.

The first was joining in a virtual meeting of one of the U3A interest groups that I belong to. We normally go to the Apple shop in Liverpool once a month, where we have been treated to some brilliant free short courses covering a wide range of topics. As we can not meet for the foreseeable future it was great fun to get together in our respective homes over morning coffee and a quiz. We will meet again next week.

I'm glad that I joined in as it was a chance to use Zoom before I dove headlong into attending an online lecture by Fergus Garrett, the head gardener at Great Dixter. I had received an email earlier this week telling me about a couple of online lectures that were being offered by Great Dixter. Although both appealed the one that really interested me was a lecture entitled 'Layered Planting through the Season at Great Dixter'. The lecture I listened to was actually originally delivered in April but I missed the boat then, maybe seeing details about it at the time but perhaps being wary about my ability to use Zoom. Anyway I'm delighted that I decided to register for this lecture which was held this morning. It was a couple of hours or so long with a short interlude, was absolutely packed with information and ideas and all for the brilliant price of £15.00. I only wish that I had been able to listen to it thirty years ago. The lecture was illustrated throughout and the only person you could see was Fergus. We were advised that we will be sent a recording of the session and I will certainly listen again and maybe even again ....... I tried to make notes as the talk progressed but could not concentrate on the slides and talk as well as write legibly.

There are more online talks in the pipeline. There is one on ' Grow Fruit & vegetable in Pots' by Aaron Bertlesen on Thursday 14th May at 7.00pm which you can book here. Fergus indicated that he will be delivering another online lecture towards the end of May and I will definitely be zooming in on that.

I found Zoom fine to use although on both occasions I was slighly late in to the sessions. Has anybody else been using Zoom and if so what do you think of it?

The photo was taken in September 2011 on my very first visit to Great Dixter.


  1. I too am new(ish) as I joined my third Zoom meeting today. That lecture sounds fascinating...hope they repeat that one...going over to Great Dixter now to see what is on offer. Namaste...Noelle x

  2. I'm glad you're enjoying your Zoom meetings.

    I use Zoom too. I have meetings with small groups of friends, with my sisters and sister-in-law every Wednesday, and with most of my children & their families on Sunday evenings, when we have a quiz night (often prepared by my young grandchildren).

    I'm also able to enjoy church meetings where it's lovely to see all my friends again. My only regret is that I can't fit my daughter and her family in Australia into the timeline. We can only pick up my daugher & family in the US and those near and far in Scotland. But we still have our regular FaceTime calls with Australia. How did people cope in days gone by, when their children moved abroad and mail took months to arrive!

    Thank you for the lecture llink, I'm going to have a look. :)

  3. Oh that would have been a most interesting talk, Anna - there must all sorts of exciting things going on which don't hear about. Not that I have lots of spare time for anything else, but I know I am lucky with that. I do 2 Zoom exercise classes, with just a little hitch at first as they were both set up in different ways and I did the first Pilates without any sound! These group chats and quizzes via Zoom sound a lovely idea although would need some organuisation I guess, so everyone doesn't talk at once!


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.