September in Our Favorite English Garden, Part 1
After nearly two weeks of visiting gardens in France and England, Judy and I were beginning to feel satiated in a way the Germans call Gartensodden. Or if they don’t call it that, they should (possibly I made that word up). And so it was with a certain weariness that we headed off to Great Dixter on our last day in the English countryside.
The weariness did not last. This was, without doubt, our favorite English garden. Great Dixter was the home of the late gardener and garden author Christopher Lloyd. I have not read any of his books, because I always felt that English gardeners did not have much to say to gardeners in the American Midwest. Oh, foolish me.
Great Dixter is exciting, joyful, surprising, and playful. Or I thought so, anyway.
We walked first into the Barn Garden. As at Sissinghurst, yews are used for background and dividing garden areas. But as we shall see, these are not neat, geomtric, anal retentive yews.
In many places Great Dixter explodes with colors. You feel like these ebullient flowers are going to reach out and give you a big hug. I love this kind of abundant color, so I was enthralled.
Here’s a quote from Christopher Lloyd: “I have no segregated colour schemes. In fact, I take it as a challenge to combine every sort of colour effectively.” A brave man, who fearlessly combines magenta Cosmos with yellow Rudbeckia. Of course, in a large garden it is easier to have lots of different colors in different areas.
The Barn Garden adjoins a barn, not surprisingly. Figs grow along the barn wall. I like the shape of the foliage.
From the Barn Garden, we walked to the Sunken Garden.
Salvia, Dahlias, and Lychnis. Love this mix of red, pink, and blue.
A closer look at the pond. There were no aquatic plants blooming when we visited.
Christopher Lloyd was a free spirited gardener who was happy to let self-sown plants find their own favorite spots. Sandstone was used for the paving.
Another wide view of the Sunk Garden.
Well, I’m going to stop there, as I would not want to cause readers to become Gartensodden. Next: Great Dixter’s Wall Garden and beyond.