Thursday, March 15, 2012

First Days at Great Dixter

Work days end at 5:00 here and in England they have not set their clocks ahead yet, which means the light is fading by the time I go out for my late afternoon garden wander. So I apologize for the low light and somewhat blurry photos. Today was a fantastic day. I spent most of the last two days planting out hundreds of Lychnis coronia. A common plant you might say, but Fergus Garrett has had a vision of a magenta cloud, a haze of those brightly lit flowers, suspended throughout the garden! This has been an amazing project to work on for a variety of reasons: 1. This plant is a self seeder and is already scattered about and coming up in many of the beds, we just added many many more. 2. The goal is to plant this plant to look like it has self-sown, which means lots of very careful looking, from all angles, to make sure it looks just random enough. I already was aware that self seeded plants scattered about were one of the many hallmarks of the Great Dixter and Chrisopher Lloyd style, but now I see what goes into achieving this effect. Many hours were put in to make the garden look as though it just planted itself! I love it! After lunch there was a seed meeting and Fergus handed out seeding projects to everyone. I have a few packets and in the next few days I will be inducted on seeding the Great Dixter way. In the late afternoon I moved over to the Long Borders and patiently bent myself around the emerging bulb foliage to carefully pick and weed out all the undesirables. The weather has been lovely, hazy sunny and warm, and it feels wonderful to be back in the dirt again. All the students, volunteers, and employees are extremely knowledgeable and generous.

Above: The legendary compost piles. They are so tall that the gardeners have to climb the ladder to dump their buckets.

View half-way up...

 View from the top looking out to the setting sun

Looking out over the fruit cages from the top of the pile. I love the grass against the yews.

View looking out over the stock beds.

Sitting on the bench at the top of the Long Borders enjoying the end of the day.

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful... just what I would have expected. So glad you are enjoying your time there. I do that same sort of "random planting" at my house, so it is interesting to here about the technique as it is being explained over there. And you have convinced me, I must find a place for a planting of 'Karl Forester' :)
    Thanks for sharing!