Six On Saturday: Great Dixter Garden

Good Morning SOS’ers! Another Saturday and another garden in the UK! Nathanial Lloyd, made his fortune when he founded his own color printing firm in 1893. By 1909, he was so successful, that he was able to retire and devoted himself to golf and his passion for shooting….. He and his wife, Daisy, began to look for an old house to buy and they purchased Dixter, in 1910, (a manor completed by the end of the Middle Ages ) and all the grounds and farm buildings for six thousand pounds.  The manor was re-named Great Dixter…….Walking around the grounds we could now call it Jurassic Park Dixter……All 19 of the gardens are spilling over and then some……There was nothing here, but a few mixed orchards and a scattering of trees when the Lloyd’s arrived. That is not the case anymore!

Of all my photos, this one is my favorite!

Great Dixter Gardens, Sussex, UK

As you can see from the Featured Photo, the Manor House is still here.  Lloyd hired architect, Edwin Lutyens, to complete the manor home.  Lutyens wanted to adapt the existing building by using local materials.  He brought in a yeoman’s home from Benenden, 15 miles away, and added it piece by piece to the mid-15th century, original home. In 1912, he added another house to the other side.  As you can see from the little photo I snuck in, I don’t know if I would have had the vision that Lutyens did! The manor then consisted of three houses connected together.  Now, it LEANS way to the right as you look at it…..For that reason, only some parts of the house are open to the public.

Benenden Yeoman’s House

Lutyens admired the work of Gertrude Jekyll, who was known for her “hardy flower borders” and  radiant color schemes, that complimented the manor house, which was a new approach to the English Garden. The ideas of Jekyll led to the garden designs at Great Dixter. Lutyens went on to become the greatest British architect of the twentieth century and Jekyll designed over 400 gardens and was known for her prolific writing. Her most famous book was Colour in the Flower Garden.

Here is a look at one of the gardens from  an upper window……..One, of things I found baffling was the meadow-look, where I thought a formal garden should be.  Here are the fancy topiaries and structured hedges filled in wildflowers and grasses……rather than a formal lawn.

 

From the Window of the House, Great Dixter Gardens, Sussex, UK 

The gardens are separated by curved yew hedges, low brick walls and many, many paths.  The borders are mixed and in all colors. There is no segregating plants of different habits, so you find shrubs, climbers. hardy and tender perennials, annuals and biennials all growing together……just as Gertrude Jekyll would have wanted……

Great Dixter Gardens, Sussex, UK

Some of the paving is York Sandstone. Other walkways are made from London pavements that were ripped up and re-placed with tarmac…. the stone became available for garden use. Lichen grows on it, making their own patterns, particularly noticeable at their flowering in April. Beware, this stone is very slippery when wet…….Everything is saved here and re-used somewhere in the garden….. In this photo you can see more of the connected houses too!

Great Dixter Gardens, Sussex, UK

There are massive plantings everywhere!

Great Dixter Gardens, Sussex, UK

This week, I asked what this huge leafed plant was……. it’s gunnera…..it is noted for it’s extreme leaf size! I’ll say! It definitely stands out here!

Great Dixter Gardens, Sussex, UK

I hope you have enjoyed these photos from Great Dixter today!

The instructions for SOS are easy. The photos can be flowers, vegetables, a garden design, whatever, as long as it’s garden related and posted on Saturday!  So, its six photos. Of Gardens. On Saturday. Easy Peasy. To see all the SOS’s look at  SIX ON SATURDAY, hosted by the Propagator, to check out all of them each Saturday! See you next week!

25 Comments Add yours

  1. Alison says:

    Beautiful gardens and interesting history

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sheree says:

    Enjoyed the visit, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. restlessjo says:

    It’s a complete wonderland, isn’t it? I’d love to visit 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Debbie Smyth says:

    Wonderful. And I enjoyed my virtual Saturday garden walk.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sue says:

      Dixter is wonderful, you would like it, Debbie….one day?

      Like

  5. Fantastic post, beautiful garden! I have Christopher Lloyd’s book, The Well-Tempered Garden, which is written with great wit. I do love that meadow…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have that book too! It’s the only one I have of his! Cady

      Liked by 1 person

  6. margaret21 says:

    A great walk to start the weekend with – thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow. I will have to visit Great Dixter one of these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sue says:

    I love Dixter, but quite a few years since I have been, sadly

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ju-Lyn says:

    Such an incredible restoration! Lovely lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Toonsarah says:

    We go to Sussex quite often as we have friends there – I can’t think why we haven’t visited Great Dixter up to now! We certainly must, it looks so lovely in your photos 🙂 And I really like Gertrude Jekyll’s approach to garden design. She and Lutyens worked together on Holy Island too – he remodelled Lindisfarne Castle while she created a walled garden nearby.

    Like

  11. Thanks for another interesting garden visit. I’ve been enjoying them all, but this one has a touch of co-incidence about it as I’ve been watching an online talk by Fergus Garret about how they achieve the long season planting at Great Dixter. He describes it as a very romantic garden. I know when I’ve been I’ve found some of the densely planted areas almost over whelming, but perhaps the atmosphere is quite different if you are lucky enough to have the garden to yourself.

    Like

    1. HB I thought the gardens were quite dense also and it wasn’t quite the look I would want for a cottage garden. I just didn’t understand the meadow look either ! Cady

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jo Shafer says:

    I sneaked a peek at your SOS garden post last night, and was curious about the large leaf plant in the sixth photo. Do you know what it is, and whether it grows stateside? I have seen similar large-leaf plants on garden tours in our area and on the Seattle side of the mountains–much better growing conditions over there, but we manage with “piped in” watering.

    Like

    1. Gunnera it’s a type of rhubarb! It grows everywhere in Ireland ! That’s where I first saw it! I bet it would grow great in your area! Well do you get a lot of rain?

      Like

      1. Jo Shafer says:

        A lot of rain? That’s on the Seattle side, Cady. Think arid. Anyway, that is an interesting specimen.

        Like

      2. Oh I wondered how much rain you got!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Jo Shafer says:

        Rhubarb, however, does grow here on this side of the mountains. We tried that the first gardening season we were here. Looked pretty good in a corner of an otherwise bare yard.

        Like

  13. Another beauty. I prefer the less formal gardens even though I know they still take lots of work. But they certainly are beautiful.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a wonderful old house and cottage garden

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Joyce says:

    Lovely! A nice garden excursion and sight for winter-weary pandemic lock-in!😊

    Like

  16. n20gardener says:

    Amazing to say that I have not visited Great Dixter yet and it is such a famous UK garden. I am constantly envious of the paths as much as the planting. I read somewhere recently that gunnera will grow in the shade and suddenly I am interested in it. I think I have a large enough corner for it- I might try it.

    Like

    1. Gunnera, I think, would grow wherever there is plenty of water! I just love it, but where I live there is no way it will grow! Way too Hot! Cady

      Like

  17. Amazing story about the house and development of the gardens, which are stunning! Your photos really highlight the beauty there! Gunnera never ceases to amaze me, and our family all find the plant fascinating and pose worthy! I managed to buy a plant online and planted it, and although it grew this year, it is definitely not as luscious as the one in your photo!

    Like

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