Great Dixter Gardens, East Sussex, UK: These historic Grade 1 gardens, which surround a medieval manor house, are truly inspirational. They have the most amazing, vibrant, and imaginative planting schemes I have ever seen in a garden anywhere! The level of visual detail and ‘complexity’ in the planting schemes is awesome: with so many different plants all contributing to the overall picture. I often stand for many minutes in this garden just ‘taking in the scene’. The more I look, the more I see and the more I appreciate the level of planning and effort that has gone into creating this visually dynamic country garden.
Although all the plants look very natural growing together, as though they have almost planted themselves in their growing positions, to get a garden looking this good with such exuberant colors and dense planting requires a very high level of maintenance indeed.
The attention to planting detail at Great Dixter even goes down to the superb arrangements of plants in containers located at strategic points throughout the garden. These are a fantastic combination of plant varieties, forms, colours, textures - and with brilliant use of foliage too.
Considering the gardens are built around a medieval English manor house (parts of which date back to the 15th century), the visitor could assume Great Dixter was just another conventional English garden. Whilst the garden structure (much of which was originally designed by the celebrated architect Edwin Lutyens ) has many conventional elements such as topiary, box and yew hedging, garden rooms, etc., the planting schemes developed by the late Christopher Lloyd are far more dynamic than the Gertrude Jekyl ‘muted palette harmonious approach’. In fact, some of the colour combinations in this highly influential and innovative garden are quite shocking, but most of the time they work really well and bring a great energy, vibrancy and life to the garden.
Photo Details: This photo shows an attractive arrangement of container plants lining steps in a quiet corner of the garden.
Location: Dixter Road, Northiam, East Sussex, TN31 6PH, UK.
The gardens are situated near the village of Northiam, about ten miles north of the coastal town of Hastings and to the north-west of the picturesque ancient town of Rye.
OSGB Map Reference: TQ821251
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