Monday, July 1, 2013

I Have Arrived!

I am back at Great Dixter to volunteer for the month of July. I keep pinching myself to make sure I am really here... It is remarkable to be back after almost a year and a half and to see the garden during the peak of summer. This time I am staying in the house, in a little bedroom, looking out over the tropical garden. Yesterday I woke up and took photographs before the garden opened, the day was so sunny and warm with a nice breeze and I had the garden practically to myself.

The Long Border!

White Salvia scalera 'Vatican White,' with purple hesperis (Hesperis matronalis) and the parsnip, (Pastinaca sativa). Both the parsnip and hesperis grows wildly in the roadside ditches in Vermont and I have been particularly admiring of the parsnip these past few years. This parsnip is featured throughout Great Dixter this year, particularly in the High Garden.

One of my favorite views in the High Garden, and always changing. These beautiful Bachelor Buttons are Centaurea cyanus 'Blue Diadem.' The seeds are sowed in autumn and plants are wintered over in cold frames, resulting in plants with serious stature.

The little wooden bench in the High Garden is one of the nicest spots in the garden. Here you can enjoy the yellow tops of the parsnip. 

Silene fimbriata

Peacock garden

The Kitchen Drive showing off the incredible giant umbel Ferrula communis ssp. glauca.  It has a dark purplish stem with yellow flowers that glow a bit orange. This is one of those plants that I heard a lot about in March, but had never seen it flower. It is spectacular!

I love this picture looking out over the valley with the Verbascum echoing the fastigiate oak in the background.

Snap dragons in the Solar Garden.

The Barn Garden.

The Topiary Garden.

The meadows, with the signature orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii.

The steps leading to the terrace with Erigeron karvinskianus and Centranthus ruber.

The stock beds on the Orchard Garden with a nice red-hot Lychnis chalcedonica.


  1. Helen, I want to hear about every minute! Have a great month.

  2. Helen I'm green with envy. We are having biblical rains. The long border is spectacular. Can you get seeds of verbascum "Christo's ?

  3. Glad you made it safely, Helen! The first round of photos are spectacular! Can't wait to follow your adventures throughout the month!

  4. Hi, any chance naming the big white plant in the last photo, on right hand side. Enjoying your photos at this season from UK.

    1. Hi! Yeah, that one is Persicaria polymorpha. Thanks for reading!

  5. So glad you're there Helen! Eat it all up! for me too. Pics are awesome, can't wait to see more. xxx

  6. Helen these pictures are wonderful !

  7. Love it, Helen! So happy you were able to get back again! I would so love to do that someday. Catching up on your other posts!