It’s a while since I posted A Perfect Day at Great Dixter, and therefore I felt completely justified in returning again today. And I took along a willing victim, my younger daughter.
I may have said before that cake is important when taking young people garden visiting. So on our arrival, we briefly brushed past the poppies, here in the Sunk Garden (yes, that is cow parsley. There was a fair amount of brushing past that too):
And then the Ladybird poppies, which Gardening Protégé remembered the name of! Hurrah!
She was rewarded with rose lemonade and Portuguese custard tart. All coffee outlets please note, at Dixter all disposable cups and straws are biodegradable, as are the bags in the gift shop.
Suitably refreshed, we made our way back up to the garden.
Junior Garden Visitor found the topiary amusing. We couldn’t work out what this pair were. JGV thought a pair of wombles. I thought funny little men with big noses and woolly hats.
I had meadow-envy throughout the visit. Observe.
Yes, those are orchids.
And yellow rattle (I have to sow some seed in the autumn).
There was a lot of comfrey.
Which was abuzz with bees.
JGV advised me to take a photo here. To show the lovely jumble of semi-wild plants that have self-seeded and are providing a spumy fizz.
In addition to meadow-envy, I also have Gladioli-envy.
Twice now I have ordered a job-lot of corms of what I thought were Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus, which on the website look exactly like this:
But when they pop up in May, I am disappointed to find that they are a pale bubble-gum pink, with smaller flowers (You can see them in this post, After the Storm…). And no shimmer. Look how these shimmer!
This next picture is why I have entitled the post ‘Brushing Past’. The paths are beautifully narrow at Great Dixter, causing you to have a very interactive experience with the plants. Quite often you are dancing around them, doing the limbo with them, extricating them from your hair. I love this up-close-and-personal multi-sensory experience.
Even the non-meadow parts of the garden looked meadowy. Here are Honesty seedheads mingled with alliums and ox-eye daisies:
One of the lovely things about visiting gardens with someone else is that they notice things you would have walked past. JGV noticed this little hole in the hedge. When we looked inside we both wanted to make a den. JGV under-estimated her height and couldn’t quite crawl in. It was a poignant moment: the start of the end of childhood.
So we sucked on some honeysuckle.
And admired this gorgeous fern, Onoclea sensibilis, with Geranium versicolour.
Here’s another vista, this time with soap-dispenser topiary:
We bounced off some Phlomis fruticosa in the Long Border. It was surprisingly stiff and springy.
Stopping at the end to admire the mulberries:
And the glorious wall, with self-seeded Centranthus ruber (Red Valerian) and Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican fleabane):
Sort of leftish, there is K-9 in topiary-form.
That was the point we started to overheat. We sought refuge again in the lovely Loggia café for lunch.
Dixter did not disappoint. Whilst I may not have had the total Tuliptastic Out-of-Body Peak Experience of my Perfect Day, it was lovely to share it with TJG.
We bought a little pot of Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus. The man in the shop said that lots of suppliers are mislabelling the species Gladiolus communis, which self-seeds readily, and is therefore easy to propagate. The Byzantine form is not fertile, but the precious corms will bulk up.
So I too can have glitzy shine and shimmer.
As for seemingly effortless meadow effects, I will keep on trying.
My aim on this site is to share the sense of wonder I get from gardening and being outdoors.
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