I have wanted to visit Great Dixter Gardens for so many years. I almost went on a garden tour there but opted out at the last minute (and did that now famous
Costwold Garden Tour instead!)

Where is this famous garden? In Northium which is in East Sussex which is south of London. And no, I didn’t quite realize just how difficult/tricky it was going to be to get there! Sissinghurst had been quite easy to reach; this was not. I took the train to Hastings then a harrowing, roller-coaster taxi to Dixter. But I got there just fine!

Tools of the trade, for sale:

Great Dixter was the lifetime home of Christopher Lloyd, gardener, plantsman, author and garden designer extraordinaire. His use of color and the lush, over-planted gardens, his experimentation with so many new plants, ways of using color in the beds and his skill as an author made him the center of so many gardeners’ ideas.

The gardens are lush. Period. It was a magnificent day but if it had been at all wet…well, I would have been soaking as you really had to push through many enormous planted areas.

One can never have enough wheel barrows!


How about this colorful cart?


Great Dixter



I walked for almost three hours and then toured the house; perfect timing as my taxi back to Hastings arrived right on time. There are just too many pictures to post individually, so here is a slide show.

Helpful Hint:  When the video starts playing on your screen, click the square box at lower right corner to make it “full screen.” You will have a much better view of the video that way!

As an aside, which it really is not, my overnight stay in Hastings was delightful! I scoured the list of places to stay on the Great Dixter site and chose a small inn that was actually reminiscent of
North House Cowes 
which has to be in our top three of hotels anywhere.

So I chose
The Old Rectory

What is it with these British hotels? They are just SO delightful!!! Understated, quiet, lovely hosts, comfortable beds, tea service and more. This one also has a small spa where I had a four-star manicure the next morning before exploring the Old Town Hastings. So here are just a few photos from my overnight:


The sky was just so clear and blue…for almost my entire stay.


Very large, light and bright , room



breakfast at Old Rectory

My place for breakfast!

I have given a lot of thought as to what it IS about the English gardens that I find so enticing. I know, thousands of others feel the same way..but what is it for ME? I am not a professional gardener in any way nor was I trained in it. I didn’t even know or care about gardens when I was younger (I thought my Mother’s obsession was well…quaint I guess.) She would be out hand watering her roses at dusk on a summer evening. And now I know. It was her private, peaceful time. I totally understand.

For me, these gardens provide such visual stimulation, interest, and windows into other worlds. And then there is my slight obsession with color. I am fascinated with how these gardens and gardeners use color…along with texture and placement and not to mention the knowledge of climate limitations.

So I will continue to research and visit more gardens!

Next week I will show you my wonderful day at Kew Gardens. Again, the weather was lovely and I met up with a friend from the States but who spends weeks on end in London with family. It was another special day.