Part of the reason Great Dixter made such an impression on me was perhaps because it was the first formal English garden I’ve ever seen. Reading up on it a bit, I learned that it is an example of a garden in the Arts and Crafts style. Another example of this style is Sissinghurst, which you can take a tour of by visiting Pam’s post about Sissinghurst over at Digging. Pam’s got a whole bunch of posts from her recent tour of English Gardens — you should definitely check it out!
The more formal areas of Great Dixter’s gardens are the Blue Garden, the Wall Garden, The Sunk Garden and adjacent Barn Garden, and the famous Long Border.
Leaving the Loggia above the Topiary Moat, you enter the Blue Garden.
Yes that green surface on the ground is actual lawn. It looked nearly unreal to my Southern California eyes, and in comparison to How many of the lawns in Britain look this summer. (But more on that in an upcoming post about my visit to Kew).
A few steps in the corner of the Blue Garden bring you to an arched entryway to the Wall Garden beyond…
… which features a dazzling display of potted plants arranged around a courtyard with an elaborate stone mosaic portrait of Christopher Lloyd’s dachshunds. I spent a lot of time here, just admiring the plant combinations.
It sounds silly, but I recall gasping out load as I walked in to the Sunk and adjacent Barn Gardens, the burst of color and texture was just that amazing. Note I took a few of these later in the day (my second pass through) after it brightened up a little. So if the light suddenly looks different, that’s why.
This might be a formal garden, but here the formal edges are overtaken by the exuberance of the plants, weighed down with rain, bowing in to the paths (and each other).
Above is a shot of the Barn Garden. You might start to notice in these pictures how all these layers and layers of plants, colors, textures feels… not just informal but experimental. Despite this being a managed, Charitable Trust property since 2003, it still feels very much like a gardener’s garden.
The Sunk Garden features an octagonal pond with water lilies, which is down and to the left of the picture above.
Next… the Long Border.
9 thoughts on “Great Dixter Part 3”
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Via Pam’s blog I discovered your visit to GD — so glad you were able to fit it in! I do a lot of gasping out loud when visiting too 😉 These photos are incredible, Amy. It’s a plant lover’s dream. Thanks so much for posting.
Hi Denise! yeah — I had such a wonderful adventure visiting GD…. its funny to look back at those pictures from the dry “quiet season” in my garden here in San Diego. But we’ll have our own version of lush in February.
I’ve just been blogging about Great Dixter myself and enjoyed reading your take on it. I didn’t love it as much as you, but that just means I’m especially interested in what you loved about it. Now I’m off to find your earlier posts. Oh, and thanks for the shout-out for my Sissinghurst post too!
Thanks for checking it out, Pam! I had a wonderful time at GD, but it was definitely “wild and woolly”! Can’t wait to see your take on it and your pictures of it (perhaps with sunshine?). I’ve really enjoyed all of your English Garden Tour posts and have actually learned a lot from them! Thanks for documenting your visits so thoroughly.
I am happy to read that you enjoyed your trip to Great Dixter. I have read about it so many times.I hope to see it sometime but until then I will continue to read about it. I especially enjoyed the little details you presented. They are often not so well represented.
Hello Lisa! I’m glad you enjoyed the GD posts. I had the pleasure of having the whole day to explore the place alone… I took advantage of that and took my time enjoying all the little details. It was lovely!
Another beautiful installment. You’ve certainly strengthened my resolve to get back to England someday and visit Great Dixter.