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Whilst on a long weekend to Kent I took a drive over to East Sussex to visit Great Dixter, the home of the late Christopher Lloyd.

It is a garden I have read much about as Christopher’s style was very individual and is much reported. The house itself is worth seeing, with the largest surviving timber-framed hall in the country, but the garden is what people come for. Both house and garden were worked on by Edwin Lutyens and this is clear particularly in the circular garden steps.

As I walked through the gardens, I had the feeling of being enclosed in plants. Apart from the famous long border which generally flows with shorter plants at the front and taller ones at the rear, walking past most of the other beds I found myself walking through plants almost as tall as myself.

Of all the areas of the garden I really loved the sunken garden, I think because there is a sense of space with the lawn surrounding the pool, and the ability to look across the garden gives it a sense of open-ness.

Throughout the garden there is exuberance and vitality in the quantity and combination of planting. There is chaos of colour but somehow it works. I would challenge you to find any bare patch of soil in this garden, shrubs, climbers, perennials, biennials and annuals are all mixed in together to create a tapestry of colour, shape and form.


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