Wednesday 10 October 2012

Great Dixter, and jungle fantasies....

Last weekend was my birthday...on Friday I went bowling (note to self....wearing jeans that are too tight, eating too much and then drinking beer isn’t good for your bowling. Note to’s my birthday, I should have won by at least 20 points). Then on Sunday we went to the East Sussex/Kent borders to first pop in on Bodiam Castle as it is a fabulous proper castle, then go to the house and garden of the late Christopher Lloyd which coincidentally had a plant fair!
I told you it was proper!
Any regular readers will know how much I love Christopher Lloyd...his style of gardening is very aligned to my own. He also famously dug up his rose garden to plant a jungle style garden. So a trip was a lovely birthday treat.

Firstly I was impressed by the plant fair as there were some interesting nurseries...there was a Belgian Persicaria specialist, and French Michaelmas daisy person with whom communication was a little hazy when I was asking for ones which had mildew resistance as his English wasn’t great.... erm...ilya une daisy that er pas de malaise de erm blanc malaise on the erm leaf?? However I did manage to buy a good few things as bizarrely a lot of the plants I had been chasing for years were all at the fair..
Anyway, the garden was a fabulous joy to wander around....dense and eclectic planting which had evolved since the last time I was there. For me the jungle garden was also like a giant orgasm....dense exotic planting which was huge and close, making it feel claustrophobic and like a proper jungle. Wonderful plants which I imagine must take a lot of watering and feeding.  Lots to be inspired by, go and see it!
The garden has all this great topiary which gives a strong structure..

the long border...lots of Phlox

Kaffir lily....mmm

There was a lot of this French marigold used as a filler....great colour and very useful

Lots of salvias which I was lusting over....I think this one is rather tender

I have no idea what this is (its about please!)

this is the jungle garden from a distance...its not massive and I love how enclosed it is...from here it almost looks caged!
Gorgeousness.....Tetrapanax and a fabulous lush looking Persicaria

swoon......I want I want I want!

I think this is tree of heaven? help! I want one!

Great colour matching with the lancewood, cannas and stems of Ricinus

Begonia luxurians....swoon again

Cannas, bananas and a giant Dahlia....such bliss!


  1. Hello, thanks for sharing these pictures. I've read "Exotic Planting for Adventurous gardeners" many a time but I haven't seen any recent pictures of the garden. Looks like Fergus Garrett has carried things on in a similar vein. Overwhelming stuff.

  2. Belated Happy Birthday Clive! Looks like you had a fabulous weekend!

    If only the fair was this coming weekend and not the one gone past we would have made it. Maybe next year. Great Dixter is looking great as expected!

  3. Exotic Planting for Adventurous gardeners has ben my bed time reading for a while! I was really impressed how the garden has continued to evolve.... I was last there 4? years ago at about this time and it feels very different, especially the jungle garden which is far lusher and more jungly

    Go to the fair next year! some good nurseries including Costsworld Garden plants....

  4. What a great birthday outing and thanks for sharing so many pictures. This is one of the many gardens I wish I would have been able to visit when we were in England.

  5. La malaise blanc, ha ha ha! That's exactly how I communicate with my French in laws, with mixed results. (It works better after a glass of wine). Now you mention it, I don't remember ever seeing powdery mildew in their garden. They get winters like ours but in the summer it is hot and dry and there are too many snakes for my liking in their rockery. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your birthday. I have never visited a Christopher Lloyd planted garden although Great Dixter is on my list.