Christopher Lloyd’s Great Dixter

The first thing to say is that Great Dixter is today as much the work of Fergus Garrett as it is of Christopher Lloyd, but that it is still kept in the spirit and style of Lloyd and can never be detached from him or his memory.

So another day of our week long break was spent firstly taking in Great Dixter and then pottering around the small town of Rye.  Living as we do on the Kent and East Sussex border, both Great Dixter and Sissinghurst are visited annually, sometimes just the once but often on multiple occassions.  This was our first visit to Great Dixter this year and will probably be our only one as we are so busy keeping up with Katherine’s cutting garden, the garden generally, going off to sell Katherine’s arrangements and bouquets along with a selection of plants at farmers markets, and of course there is the small matter of our full time jobs, that free time is something of a rare luxury.



I liked the contrast in shape here between the topiary and the building


And how was Great Dixter I hear you ask? Delightful and different as always.  A riot of colour, form and texture that is enchanting.  Individually one looks at some of the plants and finds the colours a little on the gaudy side, but planted en masse and with plants that flower in every colour of rainbow the whole effect is seemless and transfixing; you can’t help but drink it in and revel in it and wish that you were brave enough to do the same thing in your own garden.  The star of the show on this occassion was the towering Verbascum olympicum which was everywhere, vast yellow spires gently rocking back and forth in the breeze.


Verbascum olympicum


Gnarly old apple tree with clematis


Meadow with a path to the nursery


A portion of the long border


Inside one of the old out buildings


Firey Heleniums work well with the Salvia and Bronze Fennel


13 responses to this post.

  1. What a lovely garden beautiful planting and variety of flowers and shrubs I do like the meadow path.


    • The meadow is lovely Arlene; I lay down in it for a short while and it was very peaceful, so much so that I forgot that other folk were around!


  2. I have never visited this garden but from the pictures I have seen it all seems very random – plant anything, anywhere, and call it a plan.


    • There is undoubtedly some planning with a garden of that size but I also think that some of the plan is left to nature which is a great thing as she often puts things in places that we would not have thought of and does it to great effect.


  3. Oh, so gorgeous. I think I would be in heaven inspecting that long border up close. I was in England a few years ago, and my favourite garden was the long border at Hampton Court Palace…..the one between the formal gardens and the roadway/treed area. (It wasn’t evens shown on the garden guide.)


    • Hello Diane,

      I haven’t been to Hampton Court Palace yet; every year my wife and I say we will go but we never get around to it! Next time you are in England you must make a beeline for Dixter and Sissinghurst (if you haven’t been already that is ; if you have then go again!!).



  4. Despite having all the books, I too have never been. I would love to, they are the colour gardeners and a must see. Did you make any purchases in the nursery? Always love rummaging around these gardens’ nurseries.


    • Hi Petra,

      No I didn’t make any purchases (though I did have a good look and note down a few plant names) because at the moment I’ve already got so many plants that need to go in the ground that it would have been foolish to buy even more – although I did buy some Lavandula angustifolia ‘Loddon Pink’ a couple of days ago that were discounted at the local garden centre; they are big bushy plants and scent is fantastic so it was too good an offer to ignore! I enjoy the books too but they never quite do justice to the real thing so I certainly recommend a visit sometime.



  5. Hello Jason, I’ve just found you via Elaine’s Ramblings from Rosebank blog. Great Dixter is on my bucket list (I really have no excuse, except lack of time, as it’s within a day’s drive) but I really loved your visit to the Secret Garden of Sandwich (such a great name). The grass walk/planted borders remind me of the gardens at Mottistone Manor on the Isle of Wight … Caro


    • Hi Carolyn,
      I live quite close to Great Dixter really and don’t get there as often as I’d like to so you’re not the only one. Perhaps make a holiday of it and then you could do the Secret Gardens of Sandwich and Sissinghurst too! That would be quite an adventure. The Isle of Wight is on my own list of places to visit so I’ll make a mental note to stop at the Mottistone when there. Thanks for the tip. Jason.


  6. So happy to come upon this post! I have just finished “The View from Great Dixter,” and it was as if I had a small little private tour…thank you!


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