‘Succession Planting for a Lengthy Season’ was a terrific webinar with Nice Dixter’s Head Gardener! 

Inspirational, full of data, ideas and concepts, it made me need to undergo my very own footage of the Backyard. I do love these massive format footage. I attempted to catch each nook, nook, mattress, border, lengthy views of the place, even its barns and gigantic compost piles.

It was raining. Wet Could day. The identical as after I visited  Sissinghurst.
In Sissinghurst, rain would cease for a second, the solar would present up briefly after which, the rain would begin once more, however a minimum of I had some breaks. In Nice Dixter, there have been no breaks, and solely a number of footage weren’t taken from underneath my umbrella.

Many of the footage aren’t altered in any approach. Brightness, sharp distinction – it’s precisely how the backyard seemed that morning. (We’re fortunate to see these vibrant, crystal clear colours in our personal gardens right here within the U.S. Pacific Northwest attributable to excessive humidity).

I’m an newbie gardener. And my strategy to visiting well-known gardens can also be very newbie. I do not put together my visits correctly by finding out backyard maps, backyard footage, and so forth. I refresh my reminiscence concerning the historical past of a backyard, and that is it.
I do that to keep away from any affect of different folks’s opinion on me. Egoistically, I would like my first emotions concerning the backyard to be purely mine. I need to be as naive as naive could possibly be.
I even do not take a look at the backyard leaflet acquired on the gate till I end my preliminary self-tour.
After I take the photographs and make a primary spherical, I normally sit on a bench and examine a map.

Here’s a dry one!

After that, the second walk-around is completed.
 I adopted this technique in Sissinghurst,  Hidcote Manor Backyard, Giverny and others (all of them are listed on this weblog’s web page ‘Gardens of the World That I Visited’).

Sissinghurst Backyard was my first from the well-known English gardens. It shocked me in sense of this phrase. Hidcote Manor Backyard which I visited  the next 12 months, was lovely, however I could not cease catching myself considering ‘I noticed one thing comparable at Sissinghurst’, ‘they used the identical idea’, and so forth.Nice Dixter Backyard, after all, additionally has one thing in frequent with these different two nice gardens, however one way or the other, it did not make me take into consideration frequent options which it shares with them.It grasped me from the primary second I entered it and held my coronary heart tight till the second I stepped past its gate.

The primary view of the Christopher Lloyd’s home


What different phrases aside from lovely and beautiful can I take advantage of to explain Nice Dixter Backyard? Bear in mind, I’m not a backyard designer…
Sudden, lush, daring and sensible, typically surrealistic, flamboyant and playful with its gargantuan feathery ferula (large fennel) towering above different vegetation; in some locations seemingly unruled, superbly raveled, proclaiming freedom and even revolt.

Ferula communis

 I cherished the Backyard’s paths.  Greater than as soon as, I learn a critique towards slender paths in gardens.
Some folks insist {that a} correct backyard path needs to be huge sufficient to permit two folks to stroll facet by facet and share a dialog.
Nicely, this Backyard’s paths actually aren’t that sort! However, is not it straightforward – to cease, flip towards a buddy and to admire collectively and focus on a plant or different backyard characteristic?

Strolling alongside Nice Dixter Backyard’s slender, typically very slender paths, allowed me to really feel myself as a toddler in a fairy-tale backyard. I discovered this expertise very intimate, very private.
I might virtually contact the vegetation trimming the walkways and  seemed on the backyard not from apart however being among the many vegetation, surrounded by them.
In different phrases, I used to be throughout the backyard as an element versus as a facet observer.

What struck me on this Backyard, in addition to in Sissinghurst and Hidcote Manor Backyard, was that such a terrific impact is reached partially by utilizing generally discovered, well-known, odd vegetation. In fact, there are some uncommon and fewer recognized vegetation, however the majority of them are simply it – tulips, forget- me- not, daffodils, bluebells, eutrochium, wallflower, achillea, columbine, penstemon, brunnera, primula, peony, crocosmia, poppy, fritillaria, and so forth.

What did I really feel strolling by  the Backyard?

Pleasure, as I’ve already mentioned,  from step one into the Backyard to the final one;

The sense of expectation of one thing magical behind every nook that by no means let me down;

Pleasure of seeing mature knotty timber;

Infantile feeling of satisfaction after I noticed one thing comparable, if I dare to say so, to my very own backyard. For instance, utilizing tall vegetation in entrance of the borders or having an enormous head of grass protruding in the midst of a plant mattress;

Rising appreciation of the standard, conventional I-see-you-every-day vegetation.

And that is the place the place I began to cry. Nicely, not cry-cry, however the place I shed a few tears.

Right here, after I noticed this magnolia tree. The truth that I used to be truly alone on this intimate, particular place dawned on me.

 Concurrently, there have been two reverse emotions – of cozy confinement because of the wall on the left and the presence of an in depth openness because of the view forward and behind the arch within the wall.

What I like on this image, above, is a play of the layers, the view of all these steps, vertical and horizontal strains and, with that geometrical background, smooth rounded magnolia’s petals, touching and romantic.

 The tree’s branches and flowers appeared to be suspended  and floating within the air.
I allowed myself to shed a tear and mentioned a number of phrases of gratefulness for the happiness to have had such a particular second.


Backyard’s lovely arches allowed us to see alluring clouds of shade pulling you towards them like a magnet.

Poppies. Oh, these poppies! Thrown seemingly right here and there in a random vogue, they add pleasure and pleasure to a scene. They’re like little fairies hiding their pretty faces from the rain and able to giggle the second it stops.

Beneath – What’s it if not magic? It makes my coronary heart squeeze. There may be an expectation right here. 

There may be romance within the air, do not you are feeling it?


It would not be the identical backyard and not using a background of the buildings, window arches, weathered gray wooden, brick and stone. This distinction of sentimental ephemeral blooms, tender foliage and everlasting, seemingly immortal laborious buildings, was virtually poignant.

“The borders are combined, not herbaceous. I see no level in segregating vegetation of differing behavior or habits. They will all assist each other. 

So, you may see shrubs, climbers, hardy and tender perennials, annuals and biennials, all rising collectively and contributing to the general tapestry.” Christopher Lloyd

Within the Backyard’s nursery, I noticed a number of forms of Camassia: C. cuisickii, C. leichtnilii, C. quamash

“I’ve no segregated color schemes. In actual fact, I take it as a problem to mix each type of color successfully. I’ve a continuing consciousness of color and of what I’m doing, but when I feel a yellow candelabrum of mullein will look good rising from the center of a quilt of pink phlox, I am going to put it there – or let it put itself there. Many vegetation on this backyard are self-sown they usually usually present me with glorious concepts. However I do even have a few of my very own!” Christopher Lloyd

 What’s inexperienced and succulent at this time might be brown and dry tomorrow. That is the lifestyle and loss of life, and this is without doubt one of the issues our gardens train us.

Consideration! Gunnera in a pot!

“The backyard is managed in the identical approach as in Christopher Lloyd’s time.

We go for high-impact visible shows but in addition intimacy in our combos.

All of that is inside a powerful infrastructure of buildings, backyard hedges and landscaped timber.

Wildflower meadows proceed to stream into the backyard and are minimize twice a 12 months after the seeds are set.”  Head Gardener, Fergus Garrett

 Above – Do you see that single gentle crimson tulip? Would the scene be the identical with out it? I do not suppose so.

 The Nursery

It was a pleasure to stroll among the many greenhouses and plant beds, studying the plant labels and, properly, envying the individuals who had been shopping for the vegetation.If I might take a prepare, not a airplane, over the pond, I’d fortunately be a part of them.

‘The Nursery was began by Christopher Lloyd in 1954 after educating at Wye School. 
Specialising in clematis and vegetation that he preferred and deemed garden-worthy, 
he began with a few chilly frames and a glasshouse. 
We nonetheless increase vegetation utilizing the identical strategies to today, 
and we stay a small, private {and professional} nursery’.
 (Nice Dixter Home and Backyard web site)

 The entire time I used to be within the Backyard, there have been folks (gardeners, college students, volunteers)working – doing upkeep, cleansing, getting ready vegetation on the market, and so forth. 

I appreciated the entire info on the plant labels

That is the hyperlink, in case you are within the details about Nice Dixter’s potting compost. 

 I took this image whereas having tea on the Backyard’s  Refreshments Loggia.

Already a bit drained, I however, felt good being near the nursery vegetation, rustic buildings andbeing emerged within the serene ambiance of English countryside.

You possibly can take a lady out of the village, however you positive cannot take the village out of the woman.

I like these inexperienced pea helps

 Gigantic piles of compost impressed me! In fall, pumpkins are planted on them.

After returning dwelling, I lovingly turned over two compost piles in my very own backyard.

‘The gardening type is intensive however vegetation are allowed to look snug. 

Our major methodology of feeding is with natural waste which is dug into the borders frequently. 

Crops aren’t minimize down within the autumn and winter interval till the spring tidy up begins, 

offering us with worthwhile skeletons for a winter impact and meals supply for animals. 

We’re not natural however use minimal chemical compounds, at all times preferring the softer possibility. 

We develop the vast majority of vegetation ourselves and continually experiment. 

The water used is from our personal borehole and we compost virtually every part we are able to. 

The variety of gardeners varies however normally there are 5 full-time gardeners, 

supported by part-timers, college students and volunteers’.

The Unique Backyard was simply awakening after the winter and was not but in its prime.

‘You possibly can stroll by the ‘hovel’, an outdated cow shed, on to the location of a one-time cattle yard 
(with their ingesting tank within the centre), the place Lutyens designed a proper rose backyard. 
Due to replant illness, newly planted rose replacements ceased to thrive right here, 
so on Fergus’s arrival at Dixter, we made a grand alteration, removed the roses and created 
a late summer season to autumn backyard for tropical impact, although most of the greatest foliage vegetation are fairly hardy.
 This has been plenty of enjoyable. For color, we’re primarily utilizing dahlias and cannas. 
There’s a haze of purple from self-sowing Verbena bonariensis
A white, August–September flowering shrub, Escallonia bifida, is normally besieged by butterflies. 
The banana, Musa basjoo, is a hardy Japanese species.’  (Christopher Lloyd. 
Nice Dixter Home and Backyard web site)

Now, some footage from completely different elements of the Backyard:

‘A yew archway, resulting in a backyard containing 18 topiary birds. 

Initially supposed as pheasants, combating cocks, blackbirds and suchlike, 

we these days discuss with all of them as peacocks. 

There’s a central platform round which the topiary is thickest; 

‘Dixter’s is a excessive upkeep backyard; I make no bones about that. It’s effort that brings reward. 

There are various borders and far work goes into them. 

Labour saving floor cowl will not be for me. In case you see floor cowl, it’s there as a result of, at the beginning, I prefer it. 

Above, is a part of the Cat Backyard. 

I have been informed that it was thus referred to as due to the cat shed which was right here. Farm cats had been useful in controlling the mice and rat inhabitants.

There are a number of barns and different buildings on the property.

Certainly one of them, the Nice Barn, is 500 years outdated.

By the top of the nineteenth century, the Nice Barn had been tailored for a range functions.Elements had been getting used for housing livestock, whereas different sections got over to common storage of things like feed, grain and implements, and one finish was getting used because the drying and urgent ground for the adjoining oast home.

When Nathaniel Lloyd bought Nice Dixter in 1910, he was circuitously concerned in farming and the land was let to a tenant. For aesthetic functions and to permit for the creation and growth of the gardens, it was essential to relocate the centre of the farming operation additional away from the home to a brand new set of buildings that had been constructed 200 metres down the monitor on the opposite facet of the highway. This left the barn solely with a couple of low precedence storage capabilities, notably as soon as the oast ceased working within the late Thirties.
(Nice Dixter Home and Backyard web site)

It appears to be like like I am obsessive about fences…

‘The yew topiary lends a specific ambiance to a number of elements of the backyard. 

There was extra of it in my father’s time. It has a presence, 

particularly when shadows are lengthy and it seems to inhabit, somewhat than develop. 

It wants clipping solely yearly. If executed in August, 

it’ll retain its sharp outlines proper by to the top of the next Could. 

Nonetheless, though we mechanised the operation quickly after the final struggle, 

we seldom obtain this goal and are happy if this extended process is accomplished by November. 

Yew grows a lot sooner than folks think about, if the bottom is properly ready and the vegetation are fed.’ (Christopher Lloyd.

After getting back from my European journey, I seemed once more by ‘The Cottage Backyard’ by Christopher Lloyd and Richard Fowl.

Elements of the Nice Dixter Backyard  are stay illustrations for the e book; for instance, its ‘Flower Backyard’ chapter:

‘The quintessence of the cottage backyard is an abundance of shade and a jumble of scents.The cottage flower backyard is crowded with flowering vegetation, jostling one on high of one other.

There are sensible causes for such dense planting.Firstly, the leaves type a protecting display in order that weeds have little probability of germinating and, if weeds do emerge, the dense cover cuts out the sunshine they should survive.In different phrases, the vegetation act as a floor cowl.

Secondly, the packed-in vegetation assist one another, somewhat like drunks after a celebration.This reduces the quantity of staking and tying that’s mandatory.In actual fact, in some instances chances are you’ll need to let plantsflop: for instance, after chopping again a plant,you may need to enable the one behind it to floop into the area and fill the hole;alternatively, the place the paths are wideenough, edging vegetation, equivalent to pinks, at all times look fairly if allowed to sprawl out on to them.

The third benefit of dense planting is that it kinds a microclimate (as within the steaming jungle).A layer of humid air stays across the stems, serving to to forestall them from flagging on scorching days.’

Strolling alongside the outskirts of the property was as pleasurable as strolling by the principle Backyard.

Gunnera tinctoria on the Horse Pond

Gunnera manicata on the Decrease Moat

Good Bye, Nice Dixter! I hope to see you once more someday…***Thanks for strolling with me within the Backyard!

Thanks, GARDEN DESIGN , for arranging the webinar with Fergus Garrett!


Be taught from the most effective!

***Copyright 2023 TatyanaS  http://tanyasgarden.blogspot.com


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