As I said in Part 1, Great Dixter left me dumbfounded by its vibrancy. So next let me try to organize my story here a bit. Fueled by lunch, with a newly purchased umbrella in hand, I explored the western sections of the garden first.
I resisted the temptation to linger in the nursery, planning to come back through (more on that later).
… and headed to the Exotic Garden as the rain really started to set in. You can see the Exotic Garden’s bananas and other jungle-y plants poking up above the yew hedge.
The Exotic Garden is built on what was originally the cattle yard and later a rose garden (this according to the guide book — or the Website of course.) Once I entered through the tall hedges, I was surprised by how closed in and packed it was (which turned out to be utterly characteristic of the whole place). The effect (along with the rain and having the place nearly to myself) was to make the garden seem extra-mysterious. I felt like a little kid getting lost (in a good way).
I then traced my way past the edge of the orchard to the mulberry tree (with a newly installed succulent planting below it … plants I see all over the place back home in San Diego).
… then along the lower terrace.
…ah, hydrangeas! This is just the start of… oh, probably 50 hydrangea pics I took. In my normal life I am completely deprived of hydrangeas so I got a bit carried away.
This is looking back toward the lower terrace from one of the loggia. (Loggias? I’m not sure. I only just learned What a loggia is from this trip).
And here’s looking out toward the Topiary Lawn, where I headed next.
If I have my facts right, it was during the 1990’s that Christopher Lloyd replaced a formal mown lawn in this section with the wild meadow. The contrast of the weighty forms of the topiaries with the gentle texture of the meadow and the Continus, all mixed together, was another stroke of pure magic.