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rainy days and gardens

Great Dixter is (possibly) my favourite garden, anywhere. I mean to go more often, but it took until a very rainy October to make it there this year. I might have waited for better weather, but then, it hasn't happened has it?! So I went in walking boots and waterproofs and had a lovely, quiet wander. All the while dodging the showers and enjoying a little time to myself.

the garden at Great Dixter in autumn

Great Dixter

Great Dixter is, at it's oldest, a 15th Century house located in Northiam, near Rye, in East Sussex. The house was bought by Nathaniel Lloyd - father of the late Christopher Lloyd - and built upon by architect Edwin Lutyens in the early 20th Century.

It is best known as being the home of Christopher Lloyd, gardener and author. The first time I visited around twenty five years ago, we met him walking through the garden. Not that our conversation was remarkable, but that brief meeting has stayed with me since.

The house is open for tours but that's not usually why I visit. It is the garden I love. Unlike any other I know and always an inspiration of unachievable garden goals for my own, starved and unloved as it has been for years. If there were many more hours in the day, I would aim for a garden as full as this though.

The peacock garden - named for the topiary - is always my first stop. I don't know why really, I seem to wander to the left every time I visit. Admittedly the plants were looking a little damp and tired this time, though enchanting as always.

As always, my favourite are is the exotic garden. Although the paths through much of the garden are fairly well overgrown, it feels like an escape to a tropical paradise. Except, perhaps, for the temperature. Many of the plants tower above me here and it feels much like being lost in another world.

Whichever way I look at it, it is entirely beautiful. I sheltered from a downpour there and was enchanted by the light.

I have many more photos that I am posting here as every corner is intriguing. The dahlia's were still going strong when I visited, and I can't resist an undulating roof...

Beside the house is the sunk garden. Admittedly very slippery under foot when wet, it's charm is still very much evident despite the weather!

Great Dixter also has a lovely plant nursery, gift shop (which is filled with local goods and refurbished garden tools) and a little cafe at the end of the garden. Although it is mostly outdoors so I might have given it a miss this time.

But that makes the perfect excuse to go back next season surely...? J x


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