Visiting Great Dixter was one of the thrills of my gardening life. It was a cold June afternoon, I'd missed the meadow in bloom by a month or so, and the famous exotic garden (left) hadn't come on yet. But it didn't matter in the least. The place is so atmospheric, so theatrical in its age and quintessential Englishness. The garden is nothing short of iconic, yet personal, site specific and residential-in-scale; Wave Hill in New York may be the closest thing we have in this country, yet without a centuries old manor house it can't compete. I strolled around and soaked it all up. And I've always longed to go back.
Part of keeping Great Dixter alive is bringing students to train in the art of gardening. You're invited to attend one or more week-long symposia to learn and practice traditional gardening techniques. It's a chance not only to hang out with head gardener Fergus Garrett, but also to submerge yourself in the East Sussex landscape at the height of summer or into autumn. And, perhaps best of all, the curriculumn includes visits to Sissinghurst and Beth Chatto's garden with Fergus and the Great Dixter team.
A few details:
The dates are July 7 - 14 (12 open spots for students); September 8 - 15 (12 open spots) and November 3 through 10 for a practicum for six students. Subjects are tailored to the seasons, and include design, meadow gardening, growing vegetables, staking and tying....hedges and topiary....soil improvement and exotic gardening.
If you go, will you please guest blog here on Plant Talk and turn us all green with envy by describing your week?
The long border and the ancient manor house at Great Dixter